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PM Sheikh Hasina in New York : ‘No outsiders should obstruct elections in Bangladesh’

‘No outsiders should obstruct elections in Bangladesh’

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said there is no scope now for anyone to grab power illegally in Bangladesh and the violators have to face the music.

“If anyone comes to power, creating trouble and violating the constitution, then she/he will face punishment. It should not be forgotten,” she said.

The prime minister made the remarks while addressing a press conference at Bangladesh Permanent Mission in UN here. She is now in New York to participate in the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly, reports UNB.

She said if anyone other than only elected representatives wants to come to power through an alternative way, they will have to face punishment.

“It will have to be kept in mind. They will have to face the music,” she said.

The PM said she has been in power facing many obstacles emerging from inside of the country. If the people vote for Awami League, the party will come in power again.

Pointing to those who are saying that they would impose sanctions, if an attempt is made to thwart the election, she said, “I would like to say that this attempt to thwart the election should not be made from outside the country as well.”

She said if it is spoiled (the election) from outside the country, the people of Bangladesh will also impose sanctions. “We would like to see that no attempt is made from outside the country as well,” she said.

Noting that she introduced the slogan that ‘I cast my vote on my choice’ in the country, she said her party was able to establish it. The people are now conscious enough over their voting rights, she added.

Focusing on the electoral reforms made by her government, the premier said now the ballot boxes are transparent and there is no scope for filling the boxes with fake votes. The electoral rolls are made including photographs. These (the electoral system) were reformed, she added.

She said the law regarding constitution of the Election Commission was made by none other than Awami League. “We’ve made the electoral process transparent. We’ve given the Election Commission the absolute financial freedom,” she said.

She said the EC was once under the control of the Prime Minister’s Office. “The Election Commission is now completely independent. It is the Awami League government that made it. It’ll have to be kept in mind,” she went on.

Hasina said she would like to tell those who are becoming worried about the election of Bangladesh that the people are the source of power and the owners of the state as per the article-7 of its constitution.

In reply to another question about the new visa policy announced by the USA in case of undermining the election in Bangladesh, the PM said the people voted spontaneously in many elections, by-elections and local body elections held during the regimes of Awami League.

She said AL came in power, getting the mandate of the people in the election. “So, we also want the election to be free and transparent,” she added.

Noting that opposition (parties) was also mentioned in today’s announcement, she said it is good from one perspective that BNP can’t go for thwarting the election like they unleashed arson violence to obstruct the 2014 election and resorted to violence and attacked police to spoil the 2018 election.

The PM said they should impose sanctions, considering who starts undermining the election first. “If only the Awami League is targeted, I’ve nothing to say,” she said.

Responding to a question if Saima Wazed would be picked for the next leadership position, Sheikh Hasina said, “The possibility is very slim. The people of Bangladesh and my party (Awami League) will decide who will come to the leadership or not in future.”

In reply to a question over corruption, she said many people now try to tarnish the image of Bangladesh by publishing news exaggerating tiny things. This evil-attempt is very harmful for the image of the country, she added.

She said her government doesn’t spare anyone in case of even any small corruption.

She questioned how Bangladesh would have been able to witness such a huge development if such corruption had taken place.

The PM asked the Bangladeshi expatriates to send remittance through legal channels and not pay heed to rumours.