No EC can hold credible polls with AL in power: BNP

Publish: 7:01 PM, July 17, 2022 | Update: 7:01:PM, July 17, 2022

BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Sunday said joining talks with the current Election Commission (EC) is pointless since no commission can hold a  neutral credible election if Awami League stays in power.

“Our experience in the last two elections is that if Awami League stays in power, no commission can conduct a credible and impartial election,” he said.

Talking to reporters at BNP Chairperson’s Gulshan office, Fakhrul said after boycotting the 2014 polls, they took part in the 2018 election based on the prime minister’s promises to hold an acceptable election.

“But it was seen that the ballots were stuffed the night before the voting day. Considering these things, how do you (journalists) expect BNP to participate in a dialogue with the Election Commission? What will EC do? They have no power to do anything,” he said.

Fakhrul said whether or not the election will be fair and acceptable depends on the nature of the election-time government. “We have already seen that elections would not be fair if Sheikh Hasina remains the prime minister. So what will happen whether we join the EC’s talks or not?

The BNP leader’s comments came as the EC began talks with the registered political parties on Sunday morning to discuss issues relating to the 12th general election.

Fakhrul said the  people do not want  to see any election under the Election Commission or under the current government.

“That is why we are not making any comment on any dialogue, discussion or EVM issue of this commission. Because we don’t believe that there can be a fair election under the current Election Commission. If there is no change in the government and if an impartial government does not come, there will be no election in this country,” he said.

The BNP leader said the main crisis of the country is that there is no democracy here. “Election is the first door for democracy. But the electoral system of Bangladesh has been completely destroyed by Awami League.”

He said four credible national elections were held in the country under the caretaker governments, but Awami League annulled the system only to hang onto power forever by holding polls under them.

The BNP leader said it is fact that national elections are held under the partisan government in many countries that have strong democratic institutions and that have long been practising democracy.

“But our political culture is that one political party does not trust another one in our country.  Awami League itself has proved in the previous polls that there can be no acceptable election under a partisan government. They even forcibly rigged the local government elections.”