BNP senior leader Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury on Friday said the real picture of the country’s voting has been exposed as the government tried to show fairness in the Gazipur city polls.
“You have seen that an election was held in Gazipur...they tried to show a fair election and we have seen the results of that effort. This is the real scenario of Bangladesh,” he said.
Khosru, a BNP Standing Committee member, made the comments while addressing a programme, marking the 28th founding anniversary of the Dhaka Reporters’ Unity (DRU).
Suspended mayor Zahangir Alam’s mother and independent candidate, Zayeda Khatun, was elected Gazipur City Corporation mayor by defeating Awami League candidate Md Azmat Ullah Khan in the polls held on Thursday.
Khosru said it is now imperative to restore people’s right to franchise to ensure their democratic and human rights through a united movement.
He said their party along with people, including politicians, journalists and other professionals, have been on a movement to ensure people's right to vote. “If the democratic atmosphere cannot be restored in the country, human rights and democracy cannot be restored.”
After the Digital Security Act, the BNP leader said, the government is enacting another law “Essential Services Act” which can be imposed on any organisation. “More laws will be enacted to carry out more repressions.”
“If we cannot bring back democracy, establish the elected government and parliament through exercising our voting rights, we will not get any government accountable to the people in the coming days. That is why everyone must come forward,” he observed.
Khosru said the next election must be under a neutral government. “There is no alternative to it. If we cannot bring a change in the current situation in Bangladesh and restore democratic rights, electoral environment, constitutional rights and ensure a level-playing field, a fair election will not be possible."
He also said discussing elections before ensuring the level-playing field and restoring democratic rights is a futile exercise.
“Those who talk about elections and try to take people to the voting without a level-playing field and democratic order are working for this government,” the BNP leader said.
He slammed the government for not ensuring the trial of the murder of journalist couple Sagar-Runi and for creating pressure on journalists in various ways.