Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday said Ziaur Rahman and HM Ershad can no longer be called former presidents of Bangladesh as the country’s apex court declared them illegal presidents.“If Zia and Ershad are called former presidents, then it’ll be the violation of the higher court verdict,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina, also the President of Awami League, said this in her introductory speech at a joint emergency meeting of the AL Central Working Committee and AL Parliamentary Board at her official residence Ganobhaban in the evening.
Accusing BNP of playing double standard in joining polls under the AL government, the Prime Minister said now she wants to see whether Khaleda Zia’s party takes part in the December 30 municipal elections to be held on party line.
“The mayoral polls in pourasavas are going to be held under party banner… now we’ve to see what BNP does this time. If they participate, then they’ll not be able to say they don’t join polls under the present government. It’ll a great loss for the party if they boycott,” she said adding that the party emerged through Ziaur Rahman who had captured power illegally through killing, coup and conspiracy.
“BNP is not participating in the national election or any by-polls, but it did participate in the local government polls by extending support to their candidates, and they’re saying abroad that polls are not free and fair [under AL govt],” she added.
Pointing at the pourasava elections, Hasina said this will be a good opportunity for all the political parties of the country as they will get the scope for rebuilding and strengthening their party through participating in the polls with party symbols.
Noting that AL had always taken its every step abiding its party constitution and electoral rules, Hasina said if the local body polls could have been held in partisan manner in the past, then our democracy and the country’s political parties would have been much stronger.
Earlier, speaking on the occasion, AL General Secretary and Public Administration Minister Syed Ashraful Islam said holding the ensuing local government polls in a free, fair and neutral manner is a challenge.