A day after the Transparency International Bangladesh’s (TIB) proposal to form an ‘11-member polls-time government’ to conduct the next general election in a credible manner, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday turned down all those new formulas coming up these days from various quarters.
“These new formulas will only create more complexities…these won’t help strengthen democracy and maintain its uninterrupted march forward,” she said.
Hasina, also the President of the ruling Awami League, came up with the remarks while making her opening speech in a views-exchange meeting with the grassroots-level leaders from Pabna district at her official residence Ganobhaban.
She said nowadays many come up with new formulas for the next general election. “The High Court has given its verdict against caretaker government, it’s (CG) gone…we amended the Constitution to strengthen democracy.”
Hasina mentioned that the election will be held as per the system that is followed in any democratic country across the world.
“Look at the election system of Britain, the USA and Malaysia…we’ll have to look at those countries and follow those systems,” she told her audience.
In its Friday’s statement, TIB proposed formation of a ‘parliamentary consensus committee’ involving parliament members from both alliances (Awami League-led grand alliance and BNP-led 18-party alliance) to select the members of the ‘polls-time government’.
The Speaker of Parliament will call upon the political parties to submit the names of their nominees for the parliamentary consensus committee and the political parties will submit the names of their members to the Speaker. The committee may be formed taking equal members from the both alliances.
According to the TIB proposal, the parliamentary consensus committee will select the chief of the government in consultations with the ruling and opposition alliances. The committee will also select the names of a 10-member cabinet of the proposed government.
The government members will be selected before 30 days of the expiry of the present government’s tenure so that President can hand over power to the government dissolving the parliament.
Giving a brief description of various kinds of elections held under the present government in the last four years, she said those polls were free, fair and neutral as Awami League had a long history of struggle to establish the voting rights of people. “No matter what AL does, it’ll never want to come to power by rigging,” she assured.
Hasina asked her opposition leader Khaleda Zia to gain people’s confidence and trust as the people of the country lost their trust on her due to her party’s destructive politics.
She mentioned that her government has so far exercised restraint, but this should not be treated as its weakness. “Stop killing, stop arson, as your (Khaleda’s) desire won’t be fulfilled through killing people.”
The premier mentioned that everything has its limit and the government will not sit idle if the opposition cross the limit of tolerance. “You will kill people, set fire to property and the government will sit idle that will never happen.”
Hasina urged people to come forward and resist the opposition’s destructive activities, including its efforts to save war criminals. “Nobody has given her any clean chit to kill people and destroy national property in the name of agitation and saving war criminals.”
The Awami League chief alleged that when the government started the trial of war criminals, the opposition party unleashed various types of destructive activities across the country to save those war criminals.
“The opposition chief has resorted to the policy like Yahya Khan who had wanted only the country, not its people, in 1971,” she alleged.
The Prime Minister said that those who committed crimes in the country must face the music of trial on Bangladesh’s soil. Referring to a suggestion made by a section of people to run the country as per the Shariah Law, Hasina said that the country will be run as per the ‘Medina Charter’ and the ‘Prophet’s Sermon on the Last Pilgrimage’.
“All people, irrespective of race and religion, will enjoy their rights in the country. But let it be sure that the government won’t tolerate any sort of defamation on any religion. Especially, we won’t tolerate defamation of our great Prophet, we’ll surely take punitive actions against the culprits,” she reaffirmed.
Without mentioning any name, Hasina said that some people used a picture of ‘Gilaf’ of holly Makkah to gain other purpose. “This is one sort of ‘Shirk’, this will also not to be tolerated,” she uttered clearly.
Deputy Leader of the House Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury, Planning Minister AK Khandaker, Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury, AL presidium member Mohammad Nasim, AL joint secretary Mahbubul Alam Hanif, Abul Hasnat Abdullah, State Minister for Home Affairs Advocate Shamsul Huq Tuku and State Minister for LGRD Jahangir Kabir Nanak were present during the programme.
United News of Bangladesh