Bangladesh Awami League (AL) wants the participation of all the political parties, including opposition BNP (Bangladesh Nationalist Party), in the upcoming 12th parliamentary elections, Information and Broadcasting Minister Hasan Mahmud on Sunday said.
“We want the participation of all political parties including BNP in the upcoming general elections ... We also want people to cast their votes with enthusiasm for electing the next government in a free and fair manner. We, on behalf of the government, will cooperate if it is necessary,” he said.
The minister was talking to newspersons after exchanging views with the representatives of ‘The Election Monitoring Forum’ (EMF), a platform of election observers, from home and abroad, at the official residence of the minister in the city’s Minto Road area, reports news agency BSS.
AL’s relief and social welfare secretary Aminul Islam Amin, EMF chairman Mohammad Abed Ali, Social activist and political analyst of Germany Volkar U Freidrich, Global Village Connection chairman of Bhutan Jackson Dukpa, Islamic Arabic University acting vice chancellor and director of the forum Abul Kalam Azad, pro vice-chancellor of BUET and director of the forum professor Abdul Jabbar Khan and agriculturalist Azadul Haaque, among others, addressed the meeting.
The organisers, generally, make sure which teams will participate in a tournament ... It is not the duty of a team to determine which party will play in the competition
Hasan Mahmud, also joint general secretary of ruling Awami League said, “The representatives of the Election Monitoring Forum came here for a meeting with me. You (journalists) all know that a total of 108 organisations are registered with the election commission for monitoring the elections. Of those, the EMF is an alliance of 51 organisations.”
The minister went on saying, “They discussed election-related issues with me elaborately. They also said that they want the participation of all political parties, including BNP, in the next polls where the countrymen will elect their next government with enthusiasm. The forum has monitored the last election and they will send an election monitoring team to monitor the next elections.”
The minister further said the team was informed that the polls (next) will be held under the EC like all other democratic countries. The government would work as the election-period government like that of India, Australia, Japan, the UK, Germany and other countries of Europe while the polls will be held under the EC, he added.
Replying to a query, Hasan Mahmud said BNP is afraid of elections and it is normal as they got only 29 seats in 2008’s polls. Later, they had boycotted the 2014’s polls to resist democracy though they failed, he claimed.
He said BNP got only six seats after forming a grand alliance with rightists, leftists, extreme rightists, extreme leftists and the Taliban in 2018’s polls. Consequently, they are scared of the election, he added.
The minister hoped that the party (BNP) would take part in the next polls.
He said the EC conducts elections and the commission would take steps to bring all the political parties into polls.
“The organisers, generally, make sure which teams will participate in a tournament ... It is not the duty of a team to determine which party will play in the competition,” the minister said.
“We are a team in the field of elections. BNP is also a team. We also want that they would take part in the polls as we don’t want a walkover. We want to play and want to win through scoring goals. We urge all political parties, including BNP, to take part in the next polls,” said Hasan.
Abed Ali said representatives from some countries, including Germany, Nepal and Bhutan, will come here to monitor the next elections. “We discussed with Jatiya Party, JASAD and Islami Front yesterday. We want the upcoming national elections to be of international standard, acceptable and to be monitored by an adequate number of foreign observer teams. We have sought the government’s cooperation so that foreign observers would not face hassle regarding their visas.”
Earlier, the information minister exchanged views with the people of his constituency of Dakkhin Razanagar union in Rangunia upazila of Chattogram district virtually. In the afternoon, the minister exchanged views with the people of Shilak union of Rangunia upazila virtually.
The minister urged all to vote for the ‘Boat’, the electoral symbol of the ruling party, to keep the pace of the country’s ongoing development, progress and peace.