Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) has decided not to participate in upcoming elections to the rest of upazila parishads and municipalities across the country.
The decision came from a meeting of the party’s Standing Committee held on Saturday, according to a press release issued on Monday.“The Election Commis-sion’s failure and government’s unlawful interference in recently held local government elections have put those in question. That’s why, a decision has been taken not to take part in the elections to the rest of upazila parishads and municipalities,” it said.
The BNP policymaking body also expressed deep concern and anger over ‘torture’ by law enforcers on prisoners, including cartoonist Ahmed Kabir Kishore and writer Mushtaq Ahmed who were arrested under the Digital Security Act (DSA).
They also demanded immediate release of all
those imprisoned under the law.
The BNP Standing Committee thinks that people’s constitutional right to freedom of speech and freedom of expression is seriously being violated through the DSA, the release said, demanding that the ‘anti-people’ law be repealed soon.
The party has also decided to muster public opinions against the law and take programmes in this regard later.The meeting discussed the upcoming visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Bangladesh to join the celebrations of the golden jubilee of independence and recent speech delivered by Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar during his recent Dhaka visit.
“BNP will inform its stance over this through a press briefing later,” the release said.
BNP acting Chairman Tarique Rahman presided over the meeting.
Earlier, the party had decided not to join the upcoming union parishad polls beginning on April 11.
“We thought the government would hold fair elections to local government units and the Election Commission (EC) would arrange fair elections but the incidents that took place in the upazila, municipality and union parishad elections were so frustrating that BNP decided not to take part in the upcoming union parishad elections,” BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said while addressing a press conference on February 28.