Are you constitutionally legitimate, Mirza Fakhrul asks govt

BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir addresses a rally as the chief guest at Naya Paltan, Dhaka on 16 October 2023.
Prothom Alo

You are running the government, but are you constitutionally legitimate?, opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir asked the governing Awami League.

Following the “vote thief”, the current slogan is “constitution thief”, he further said. This has to be said with emphasis.

The people around have to be informed that they (the Awami League government) is completely illegitimate, and have been staying in power through cheating with the constitutional ways.

Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir was speaking as the chief guest at a rally of youths at the party’s headquarters at Naya Paltan in the capital in the afternoon.

Jatiyatabadi Jubo Dal, the youth wing of the party, organised the rally.
He also talked about the dialogue at the rally.

In response to AL general secretary Obaidul Quader’s statement that there can be dialogue with the BNP if they withdraw conditions for that, Mirza Fakhrul said, “The US representatives (IRI-NDI pre-election assessment mission) recommended five issues before leaving the country. Dialogue is the most important issue among them. In response the Awami League general secretary said they will consider the issue of dialogue if BNP withdraws its conditions. My question to the Awami League is that you are running the government, but are you constitutionally legitimate? You have to prove that.”

“We have proved that you are not constitutionally legitimate. You (the prime minister) have grabbed the power by amending the constitution unconstitutionally and introducing the 13th amendment,” he added.

Mentioning about the summary verdict pronounced by Justice Khairul Haque before initiating the 13th amendment, Mirza Fakhrul said, “The verdict you used to introduce the 13th amendment to scrap the article on the caretaker government, in that verdict Justice Khairul Haque mentioned another thing. He said this (caretaker government) is not relevant but two more (parliamentary) elections could be organised under the neutral caretaker government system for the sake of the country and for the sake of the people. But there was a condition that no justice could be appointed there.”

The senior BNP leader further stated that the full verdict was published after 16 months of the announcement of the summary verdict but that was completely different from the summary verdict and there was no similarity between the two verdicts. On the other hand, Awami League passed the law (scrapping the caretaker government) in parliament even before the publication of the full verdict. But all the political parties said two more elections should be held under the caretaker government system.

Recalling the process of scrapping the caretaker government system, the BNP secretary general said, “Today you put emphasis on the constitution. But you (the prime minister) will have to resign before everyone else because you are not legitimate. What we say is clear, resign first, dissolve the parliament, take part in the election by handing over the power to a non-party government.”