The ruling Awami League appears to be in a happy mood as many influential countries support the incumbent AL-led government’s stance on holding the next general election as per the constitution.
Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj during her recent visit to Dhaka reportedly said her government expects a free, fair and credible election with the participation of all political parties.
Party insiders say different countries like China, India and the United Kingdom want holding of the next parliamentary elections of Bangladesh as per the constitution.
“It proves that influential and democratic countries across the world expect that the next national election will be held as per the constitution,” a senior AL leader told the daily sun.
AL general secretary Obaidul Quader on Monday said Indian foreign minister during a meeting with BNP chief Khaleda Zia mentioned the electoral process of democratic countries
“Sushma did not express anything on a poll-time government. So far we heard, she mentioned the electoral process of democratic countries. It means that the present government will act as a poll-supportive government,” he said.
According to the Article 123 (3) (a) of the constitution, the next parliamentary election should be held within 90 days before the dissolution of the 10th parliament.
The 10th parliament sat on January 29 in 2014 after the January 5 national election, meaning that the next polls should be held between October 31, 2018 and January 28, 2019.
The AL general secretary also urged Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) not to boycott the next elections as, he said, the government wants an inclusive election.
“Please don’t boycott the elections. We want participation of all parties in the polls for the sake of the national interest and democracy. It is our and people’s expectation that they will join the polls,” he said.
The BNP, which has remained outside of parliament due to its boycott of the last January 5 polls, has been asking the government to introduce poll-conducive government for a credible election.
Brushing aside the BNP’s demand for poll-time government, the ruling party has been urging all registered political parties of the country to take part in the next polls.
AL presidium member Mohammad Nasim said there will be no use demanding the caretaker government provision.
“It is a settled issue. The foreigners are also coming up with the same opinions. The next parliamentary elections will be held as the constitution,” he said.
“Only one year has been left for the next general elections. The polls will be held on time. People will cast votes and we will go by the people’s verdict,” he said.
BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir called on the government to find out a way in consultation with the opposition parties for holding the next polls in a credible manner.
“The government should find out a way in consultation with the political parties for the interest of the country so that a free, fair and credible election can be held,” he said.
Sources in the AL say they will not go for talks with the BNP as the party turned turned down Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s proposal for talks before the January 5 polls.
AL presidium member Faruk Khan told daily sun that they will not entertain any illogical demand of the BNP.
“The next elections will be held as per the constitution. Our party will not entertain any illogical demand from any quarter,” he said.