Khaleda can join polls even if convicted: Moudud

Dhaka : BNP senior leader Moudud Ahmed on Saturday said their party chairperson Khaleda Zia will be able to join the next general election even if she is convicted in the ‘false’ cases filed against her.
It’s a wrong perception that Khaleda Zia can’t participate in the election if she’s convicted. I would like to clearly say she’ll be able to take part directly in the polls even she is convicted in the false cases, he said, reports UNB.
Speaking at a discussion, the BNP leader also said Khaleda will not only participate in the election, but also will lead her party and the BNP-led alliance.
Labour Party, one of the components of the 20-party alliance, arranged the programme at Dhaka Reporters’ Unity (DRU), marking the eight anniversary of Pilkhana tragedy in 2009.
Moudud, BNP standing committee member, also said the next election will not be one-party and unilateral one. aNo more one-party election will be held on Bangladesh’s soil. If any one makes such a plan, I think they cannot understand the reality.
He said Khaleda’s popularity will grow further if she is convicted in any ‘false’ case. If (Khaleda) is convicted, for example, we’ll appeal against it. An appeal means continuation of proceedings of the trial and then we’ll secure bail for her as per conventional rules that will enable her to join the election directly. So, the discussions and speculation about her participation in the election is an irrelevant issue.’
Moudud also thinks ensuring a democratic atmosphere, not the Election Commission and the election-time supportive government, is the main matter for holding a fair election and creating a level-playing field.
He said all the political cases against their party leaders and activists will have to be withdrawn to ensure the democratic environment during the polls.
The BNP leader said their party wants the country’s political crisis to be resolved in a peaceful way through discussions and negotiations. But if it doesn’t happen, we won’t have any alternative to carrying out the movement.’
He also said their party will continue its movement alongside preparing for the next polls.
We’ll carry out the movement to restore democratic environment and ensure an atmosphere so that people of all walks of life can go to polling stations without any fear to cast their votes and determine which party or alliance will run the country, the BNP leader said.
About the Pilkhana tragedy, Moudud said the reasons behind the tragic incident and killing of army officers should be made public.