Hasina asks all parties to trust president-reconstituted EC

Staff Correspondent | Update:

PIDPrime minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday hoped that all political parties will keep confidence in the election commission to be reconstituted by the president.

In a televised address to the nation on completion of three years of her assumption of office for the second straight term, she said the next general elections will be held after the expiry of the tenure of the present parliament and asked all political parties to join the polls.

“The president has taken initiative to reconstitute the election commission. We hope all the political parties will keep confidence in the president-reconstituted election commission,” said Hasina, also the president of ruling Bangladesh Awami League.

She also expressed hope that all political parties would contest the next general elections as per constitution and thus "uphold the democratic process" in the country.

Hasina maintained that she believes in democracy and has trust in the people.

Dwelling on the current parliament -- constituted through a lopsided election on 5 January 2014 which was boycotted by all major opposition political parties and which witnessed election of majority MPs uncontested -- the premier claimed that the parliament has been made the centre of all activities.

Sheikh Hasina thanked the opposition in parliament for taking part in discussions and giving its opinions on different affairs. Jatiya Party, the official opposition in parliament, is also a part of the present government.

In her address, Sheikh Hasina also criticised the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) for rejecting her call for joining the polls-time government and the violent demonstration before and after the 2014 elections.

She claimed that the caretaker government system was abolished following directive from the highest court and that "we have stopped the scope for usurpation through the 15th amendment of the constitution".

As her government completed three years, the prime minister placed a long list of the development steps and programmes and projects.

"Bangladesh Awami League does believe in deeds, not merely words," she said claiming that all major achievements of the country were made by the party.

Sheikh Hasina also lauded her daughter Saima Wazed Hossain her for drawing the attention of the global community to the issue of autism.

She also touched on the national cricket team's performacne in the international arena by defeated major sides in recent times.

However, she blasted those who embraced military calling them not followers of a religion of peace -- Islam.

“A certain quarter is unleashing terrorism in the name of Islam to create chaos in the country when it is moving forward,” she said.

In this context, Sheikh Hasina claimed that the “trial of war criminal is continuing.”

The International Crimes Tribunal, Bangladesh (ICT,B) is holding trials of those who committed “crimes against humanity”, not of war criminals.

BSS adds: Hasina said Bangladesh has been graduated as a lower middle income country under the leadership of Awami League government and only AL would be able to make Bangladesh a middle income nation by 2021 and a developed and prosperous one by 2041.

She urged all irrespective of party affiliations to work together for the country's development and build a developed and prosperous Bangladesh for future generation.

During the tenure of her government, she said, Bangladesh's constant economic growth over six percent amazed the world while in 2015-2016 fiscal year the growth was 7.11 per cent and targeted to be 7.4 per cent in the coming year.

Sheikh Hasina said her government assumed power in 2009 when poverty rate was 41.5 per cent which now came down to 22.4 percent resulting in the decline of abject poverty level to 12 per cent from 24.23 per cent in 2005-2006 fiscal adding that her government aspires to bring it down to 7/8 per cent by 2021.

The prime minister said country's economy is now standing on firm footing with foreign exchange reserve standing at over US$ 32 billion compared to 3.5 billion in 2005-2006.

Over the last eight years, she said, about 1.5 crore people found employment while 7.57 lakh people went abroad with job.

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