Won’t go to polls under AL govt, BNP tells EU

A BNP delegation holds meeting with EU diplomats on Sunday

Opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) will not participate in the next national polls with Awami League in power, BNP leaders told diplomats of eight countries of European Union at a meeting on Sunday morning.

BNP standing committee member Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury said this to journalists after the one and half hours long meeting.

Secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam led the BNP delegation. Party’s organising secretary Shama Obaid and rights affairs’ secretary Asaduzzaman Asad were also in the delegation.

Of course we have made it clear to them that we are not going to participate in any election under the current government
Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury

The meeting took place at ABC House in Gulshan at 10:00am. Led by EU ambassador to Bangladesh Charles Whiteley, ambassadors of France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands,  Spain, Denmark and Norway took part in the meeting.

Asked if BNP has cleared its stance of the next general election, Amir Khasru said, “Of course we have made it clear to them that we are not going to participate in any election under the current government. We made it clear to those who are observing the situation of Bangladesh closely that the people will not be able to elect their representatives, establish their government if the election is held under the current usurper and unelected government.”

Asked about the EU’s stance on these matters, Amir Khasru said, “They can say better what they are thinking. I can’t say that. You all know that like in Bangladesh, the democratic countries are also observing the situation of the election closely. As part of this observation, they (EU) have seen what the democratic condition is in Bangladesh, what is the situation of human rights, rule of law, freedom of speech and media. They surely have an eye on these as apprehensions loom large in and outside the country over the next general election.”

Amir Khasru said they also discussed the country's electoral system.

The BNP leader said the apprehensions loom large among the foreigners, like as the people of the country, as to what direction Bangladesh will head if people cannot exercise their franchise in the next election.

In light of this situation, the EU wants to know how the next general election can be fair and participatory, he added.