AL woos voters, BNP seeks int’l blessings | 2018-09-14 |

AL woos voters, BNP seeks int’l blessings

Shawkat Ali Khan     14 September, 2018 12:00 AM printer

Political parties are now busy drumming up public support, forging national unity and seeking blessings for international quarters ahead of the 11th parliamentary elections.

The ruling Awami League-led alliance has been busy mobilising public support while Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and its allies have been trying to secure international support to compel the government to arrange the election under a non-party administration.

Apart from the two major camps, left-leaning and small political parties are trying to forge a national unity to contest the polls likely to be held in December this year.

The AL-led government is stubborn to arrange the polls as per the constitution while the BNP is repeatedly asking the government to hold the election under a neutral administration going beyond constitutional provision.

The BNP has also been threatening to wage anti-government movement to compel the government to introduce non-party poll-time government.

In the latest development, a BNP delegation led by its secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir is now in the USA to put foreign pressure on the government to arrange the polls under the neutral administration.

AL Presidium member Mohammed Nasim said visiting foreign countries would not yield any result.

“Elections will be held as per the constitution and we will accept the verdict of people,” he said.

As per 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 article 57 (3) of the Constitution provides that the incumbent prime minister will hand over the power to an elected prime minister.

Ignoring BNP’s demand and foreign lobbying, the ruling side has been continuing pre-poll campaign with a strategy to keep the BNP unorganised before the polls.

AL general secretary Obaidul Quader said the BNP would not be able to compel the government to accept any unlawful demand.

“They [BNP] have been continuing lodging complaints to the United Nations against the country. It is natural that anyone will respond to the call of the United Nations. The body can query if there is any problem,” he said.

“But we will take decisions in our way. We will not bow to unconstitutional demand of any quarter,” he added.

The BNP, which remains outside of office since 2006, remains busy facing the court following the conviction of its chief Khaleda Zia and her son Tarique Rahman.

A special Dhaka court has awarded Khaleda Zia five-year imprisonment for embezzling Tk 21 million in foreign donation from Zia Orphanage Trust.

Tarique Rahman and four others have been awarded 10-year in jail in the same case.

Talking to the daily sun, top politicians of the major parties said they have been taking preparations for the upcoming polls.

AL insiders said they have already started preparations for the polls and concentrated on formulating the election manifesto.

The Election Steering Committee is scheduled to sit on Saturday at Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s official residence Ganabhaban to outline a course of action on the upcoming elections.

AL presidium member Faruk Khan told the daily sun that as a democratic party, they had been taking preparation for the polls after the last parliamentary polls.

“As election is drawing nearer, we have already started working on it. We visit people more often and project the success stories of the government,” he said, adding that are also working to resolve the internal feud before the polls.

The BNP, which remains outside of parliament due to boycott of the last parliamentary polls, also becomes upbeat after its Vision 2030.

BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir recently said that BNP is an election-oriented political party.

“BNP believes in vote. If poll-conducive government and election atmosphere prevails in the country, BNP is ready to participate in the polls in any situation,” he said.

Main opposition Jatiya Party led by Hussain Muhammd Ershad is also heading towards the polls. Ershad said his party would field candidates in 300 constituencies.

Besides the political parties, the Election Commission has started preparations for the 11th parliamentary polls and already drafted a roadmap.

EC secretary Helal Uddin said that the EC would declare the poll schedule in late October.