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Next general election will never be free and fair if Hasina remains in power: BNP

Next general election will never be free, fair and impartial if Awami League President Sheikh Hasina remains in power, said BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Sunday.

“Whatever Election Commission says, the question is about the government system during the election. If they (Awami League) remain in the power and Hasina becomes Prime Minister, then the election will never be fair, which we have seen in the past,” said Fakhrul told journalists at BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office in Dhaka.

Mentioning that Election Commission has no power to do anything, the BNP secretary general said, “Our experience is that if Awami League remains in power, no matter what type of Election Commission you have, they will never be able to conduct an fair and acceptable election.”

He further said, “We boycotted the elections in 2014, we participated in 2018 elections with the expectation that the Prime Minister will keep her promise. But it was seen that the voting was held at night before the elections.”

Fakhrul said, “Considering these matters, how do you (journalist) expect that BNP will join to Election Commission’s dialogue, will sit and talk with them?”

EC does nothing and they have no power to do anything, he added.

Criticising the formation of present Election Commission, Fakhrul said, “In the past, we gave a proposal to the President for the formation of the Election Commission in response to his call. We hoped they would take appropriate action and but nothing happened. This time, the Election Commission has been formed in the same way.”

Sheikh Hasina has decided to hold the general election under partisan government by referring to the court verdict within a day, said the BNP secretary general adding that “The purpose is they want to stay in power forever. But it is also true that elections are being held in many countries of the world under partisan government. But the democratic environment of those countries must also be considered.”

He said people of the country do not want any election under this government and the Election Commission. “We do not want to comment on dialogue of EC and EVMs. If we cannot oust this government then there could not be a fair election under this Election Commission.”