Government can be changed by vote: PM Hasina

Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina
BSS file photo

Awami League (AL) president and prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday sought doa (blessing) from the countrymen to hold fair and peaceful election, saying the government can be changed only by vote and elections.

"We want the voting rights of the people to continue...and the government will be changed through votes," she said while inaugurating selling of AL nomination forms for the 12th parliamentary elections at party's central office in city's 23 Bangabandhu Avenue.

The AL chief also called on the countrymen to remain vigil and resist the persons who unleashed arson terrorism to foil election, saying, "We've established voting rights of the people through a long struggle."

"So, people have to remain aware of those who are attempting to foil election and democratic system through arson terrorism," she added.

Sheikh Hasina, as well, thanked the political parties which took the decision to participate in the election.

"Those political parties which don't have trust and confidence in the people, and which are not well organised as political parties, they are trying to foil the election," she said.

She noted that foiling of election might have heavy toll on a country.

Referring to the arson terrorism in 2013 and 2014 that caused loss of lives and properties, she questioned "what kind of politics is this, destroying lives and properties through arson terrorism?"

At the outset of the function, nomination form was collected on behalf of AL President.

AL Advisory Council member Kazi Akram Uddin Ahmed collected the nomination form of Sheikh Hasina for the Gopalganj-3 constituency.

Earlier, Sheikh Hasina came to the central office of Awami League by a private car from Ganabhaban.

Later, she went to Bangabhaban by an official car to pay a courtesy call on the president.

Mentioning that democratic trend has been continuing in the country since 2009, the prime minister attributed unprecedented socioeconomic advancement and achievement of developing country status on this continued democratic system.

The premier reiterated her call to the countrymen to resist the people who are trying to foil the election through arson terrorism and killing people, saying, "I will request the people of the country to resist them."

Sheikh Hasina also said that through calling hartal (strike) and blockade, academic atmospheres and activities of students are being destroyed, and added that "BNP-Jamaat gains entertainment through torturing mass people."

She opined that the attempt to foil elections might not bring any good result for the people involved in that. "If anyone tries to foil election, and continues the arson terrorism; it will not bring any good for them," she said.

She went on saying "it is the rights of the people to vote and choose their desired candidates in the elections."

People of the country will punish them, she said, adding, "I will urge the people not to allow hindrance of country’s continued democracy that attained through huge struggle."

Sheikh Hasina hoped that people will resist those who will try to snatch away the voting rights of the people and unleash arson terrorism for that purpose.

Talking about the nominations process of Awami League, the AL chief said that those who are taking nomination forms, they all are eligible, no doubt about it.

"But it is the job of the nomination board of Awami League to choose the appropriate candidates for the next election. We will also take opinion from the grassroots level before choosing the candidates," she said.

Earlier, she visited nomination forms selling booths at the AL office.

At the party headquarters, 10 booths for eight divisions have been set up to sell the nomination forms among the aspirant candidates for the parliamentary elections slated for 7 January.

The party aspirants can collect and submit the nomination papers from 10 am on 18 November to 4 pm on 21 November every day.

The interested party men can collect and submit the application forms for party nomination from the specific booths installed at the AL Bangabandhu Avenue central office in the capital.

Nomination forms for the candidates of Dhaka, Mymensingh, Sylhet and Chattogram divisions are being distributed from the second floor of the party office, while the aspirants from Rangpur, Rajshahi, Khulna and Barishal divisions will have to collect nomination papers from third floor of the office.

Nomination papers of all divisions will be received on the ground floor of the central office.

The AL nomination aspirants can collect and submit their application forms by themselves or through a representative of the candidate without any extra gathering at the party office.

At the time of collection of the application form, a candidate must bring a photocopy of National Identity Card (NID). Mobile number, three previous posts held by the aspirant and current organisational identity must be clearly mentioned on the photocopy.

The nomination forms must be submitted within 4 pm on 21 November.