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Never wanted opposition parties to stay out of election: Quader

Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader on Tuesday said that his party didn’t want the opposition parties to stay out of the national election and it would have been more competitive if those, including BNP, took part.

“We never wanted the opposition to stay out of the election. Many are participating, but if those, including the BNP, had decided to participate, the election would have been more competitive. We know there could be a strong competition,” he said, reports UNB.

Quader said this while inaugurating a polling agent training programme at Dhaka district Awami League office.

“BNP thought that without them, there would be no people across the country, the election would not be festive, and voter turnout would go to zero. But have failed in their movement,” he said.

Now they are telling stories about how the government will fail, how voter turnover will be low, and how elections will not be free and fair, he said.

He further accused BNP of attempting to disrupt the election through terrorism and violence.

Referring to the BNP’s movement to boycott the election, Quader said, “They want to foil the election through terrorism and violence, not through processions and demonstrations. This terrorism and violence have taken a terrible form.”

About the demand for caretaker government, Quader said, “We (AL) enforced hartals for caretaker government, but BNP destroyed and distorted the caretaker system. That’s why we don’t want it. We did not abolish the caretaker government system; the judiciary did it. So this system is dead; there is no need to bring it back to life.”

Mentioning that political parties in many countries around the world boycott elections, Quader said, “But violence to foil the election is a rare incident. This is happening in Bangladesh.”

Criticizing Tarique Rahman, Quader said, “He is not doing politics now, he is destroying politics, conspiring to destroy the country’s democracy. His father, Ziaur Rahman, destroyed democracy in this country.”

“We are passing through a very difficult time. The whole world is reeling under crisis. We are not isolated from the effects of the global crisis. There is an inseparable connection with international politics,” said the AL general secretary.

Referring to the crises in Ukraine, Sudan and the Middle East, Quader said, “We are also in crisis in such a situation. Poor people are suffering in the country. Price hike in daily essentials has created an atmosphere of misery for the people. As the ruling party, we cannot avoid responsibility.”