BNP in election race for the sake of democracy: Fakhrul
09 December 2015, Nirapad News: BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Tuesday said their party joined the municipal elections in the interest of democracy, though it knows it very well the voting will not be fair.
Speaking at a press briefing at BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office, he also alleged that over 5,000 BNP leaders and activists have been arrested across the country in recent times since the announcement of the municipal election schedule.
“We’re repeatedly saying we know the election will not be free. One can question why are we in the election race under the circumstances? The reason is we believe in democracy. BNP is a liberal democratic party. We want to bring any change through a democratic way,” the BNP leader said.
The briefing was arranged after a joint meeting of the party and its associate bodies held to work out programmes for marking the Victory Day and the Martyred Intellectuals Day.
Asked as to why they are thinking the election will not be fair, Fakhrul said, “We’re saying it from our past experiences. You (reporters) know it better than me what had happened during January-5 election in 2014, upazila and last three city corporations’ polls.”
Replying to another question whether the party will boycott the municipal polls if the ‘same condition created during the last three city polls is created again’, he said, “It’s a matter of political strategy. Boycotting an election or staying in it will depend on the circumstances.”
The BNP leader said they will form a central election steering committee which will inform journalists about the party’s various observations about the municipal polls.
He alleged that objectives and spirit of the Liberation War, including people’s democratic rights, rights of expression and economic freedom, are now at stake due to the government’s repressive acts.
The BNP acting secretary general said opposition political parties now cannot hold any rally and public meeting as the government eliminated the democratic space. “Even our grassroots leaders and activists can’t hold any programme in our party’s district offices.”
Mentioning that a suffocating situation has been created in the country, he said their party has been on a movement to get rid of it and restore people’s all rights, including voting one. “We believe our movement will turn successful with people’s participation.”
Fakhrul demanded the government release their all the arrested leaders and activists and elected mayors.