Road Transport and Bridges Minister and Awami League (AL) General Secretary Obaidul Quader today said their party will extend all-out support to the Election Commission (EC) in holding a free, fair and neutral general election slated for January 7.
“We pledge that the government will abide by constitutional provisions, rules and regulations. We are pledge-bound to extend all-out cooperation in all election related activities,” he said.
Quader was addressing a press conference at AL’s Dhaka district unit office at Tejgaon here on the occasion of the announcement of election schedule by the EC on Wednesday.
The AL general secretary said his party never thinks of government changeover though conspiracy as the AL is always respectful to democracy and elections.
“Awami League never went to power without election or people’s mandate. We struggled for establishing people’s right to vote,” he said.
Welcoming the EC’s announcement of schedule of the 12th Jatiya Sangsad, Quader said: “We are hopeful that the Election Commission will be able to hold a free, fair, neutral, peaceful and meaningful election.”
About the BNP’s movement, he said their movement will go in vain as election cannot be stopped.
As polls schedule has been announced, AL as the ruling party wants participation of all registered political parties in the polls, he said.
“The door of election still remains open for BNP. If BNP joins polls changing its decision, we will welcome them,” he said
After the assassination of Bangabandhu, democracy was ruined in the country by military dictators like Ziaur Rahman and HM Ershad, he added.
Bangabandhu’s daughter Sheikh Hasina had waged movement and struggled for restoring democracy in the country and she had to face repression and imprisonment in her struggle, he mentioned.
As Sheikh Hasina returned to the country in 1981, democracy has been restored here, he said.
Turning to election, the minister said the EC is completely independent and it got this independence from Sheikh Hasina.
None but Bangabandhu’s daughter empowered the EC to reach this position as everything needed for a meaning and credible polls has been fulfilled by Sheikh Hasina, he mentioned.
“You are now talking about dialogue. Before 2018 polls, political parties were invited to join dialogues at Ganabhaban. Before 2014 elections, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina personally invited Begum Khaleda Zia over phone. But on that day, Begum Zia being a former premier used very abusive language to the incumbent prime minister which didn’t remain secret. Khaleda Zia didn’t join dialogue,” he recalled.
AL Presidium Members Begum Matia Chowdhury, Kazi Zafar Ullah, Dr Mostafa Jalal Mohiuddin, Kamrul Islam, Jahangir Kabir Nanak and Abdur Rahman, Joint General Secretaries Mahbubul Alam Hanif and AFM Bahauddin Nasim, Organizing Secretary Ahmed Hossain, Mirza Azam, Afzal Hossain and Sujit Roy Nandi, Information and Research Secretary Dr Selim Mahmud, Office Secretary Barrister Biplab Barua, Science and Technology Secretary Abdus Sabur and Publicity and Publications Secretary Abdus Sobhan Golap were present in the press conference.