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BNP backtracks from the stand on not joining Parliament
parliament building

BNP backtracks from the stand on not joining Parliament

Dhaka, April 29 – In a major political development, the BNP yesterday backtracked from its earlier decision of not joining Parliament as its MPs-elect took oath in the evening yesterday, the last date of taking the oath.
“Considering the critical juncture in the political arena, we have decided to join Parliament as part of our movement to restore the democracy and release of party chairperson Khaleda Zia,” said BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir at a press conference at chairperson’s Gulshan.
He said the BNP MP-elects have been taken oath as per party decision and party’s acting Chairperson Tarique Rahman’s directives.
The party secretary-general made the announcement soon after its four MPs take oath at the eleventh hour of taking the oath by the MPs elect. Earlier on Thursday, another BNP MP-elect Zahidur Rahman Zahid took oath as MP of the 11th Parliament.
He justified that they rejected the election results as what he said December 30 election was a voter less election.
Asked when he would take the oath, Mirza Alamgir said you (journalists) will know it in time. He gave the same reply when asked whether the party withdrew expulsion order from its lawmaker Zahidur Rahman.
Party sources said Mirza Alamgir sought time to take the oath and he sent a letter to Speaker seeking time on health ground.
After taking the oath, the BNP lawmakers also claimed that they took as MP of the present Parliament with the consent of party acting chairman Tarique Rahman as they talked to him through Skype conversation.
Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury administered the oath at Parliament Bhaban while Parliament senior secretary Dr Zafar Ahmed Khan conducted the oath-taking ceremony.
The four BNP MPs– Ukil Abdus Sattar (Brahmanbaria-2), Harun-ur Rashid Harun (Chapainawabganj-3), Aminul Islam (Chapainawabganj-2) and Mosharraf Hossain (Bogura-4) took the oath on the last date for taking the oath.
With this five of the six BNP lawmakers, elect took the oath and joined Parliament. Zahidur Rahman Zahid, another BNP lawmaker elect took oath on Thursday last.
Earlier, the two MPs elect of Gono Forum, a major partner of the Oikyafront, where the BNP is the major partner, took oath as MPs of the present Parliament.
With the latest ones, 299 MPs-elect out of 300 in the 11th Parliamentary polls were worn in.
As per Article 67 (1), a Member of Parliament shall vacate his/her seat if he/she fails to take oath within 90 days from the date of the first meeting of Parliament after his election. The first session of
11th Parliament began on January 29 and all the ruling party lawmakers had earlier taken oath accordingly.
Talking to reporters, Ukil Abdus Sattar and Harun-ur Rashid Harun claimed that they have taken oath abiding by the party decision.
“We have taken oath in consultation with party acting chairman Tarique Rahman through video conference and taking with his consent,” said Ukil Abdus Sattar.
Harun-ur Rashid Harun said there was pressure from the government to take the oath but they did not turn to Parliament for that reason.
He said they would demand the holding of a fresh election and release of party’s ailing chairperson Khaleda Zia.
Harun, also a party joint secretary general, mentioned that they were late to come for taking oath as they were waiting for party decision.
“Indeed, the present Parliament does not represent the people. This government was not elected on a vote. There was no election on December 30. That’s why the BNP and Jatiya Oikyafront rejected the poll result
…We have taken oath at the directive of Tarique Rahman,” he said.
He claimed that Khaleda Zia has been kept in prison at the prejudice instruction of the government and hoped that the government would release her and provide her proper treatment.
Asked about expelling another party lawmaker Zahidur Rahman Zahid, he said Zahid soght apology for taking the oath before and now the party would consider his case.
Replying to a question, he said they didn’t go to Parliament to give a legitimacy to the Parliament for five years.
“There is no rule of law, good governance in the country. 17 crore people have been keep hostage…We will focus thses in Parliament,” he said.
BNP and its allies in both the 20-party alliance and Jatiya Oikyafront took part in December 30 Parliamentary elections where the BNP bagged only six seats and Ganaforum two seats.
The Oikyafront turned down the election results bringing the allegation of ‘massive vote robbery’ and decided not to join Parliament.
Meanwhile, joining Parliament, Harunur Rashid demanded the release of Khaleda Zia. – Staff Reporter

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