Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina categorically said on Monday that the next general election would be held in time as per the constitution, no matter the BNP takes part in it or not.Sheikh Hasina said that her government has nothing to do if opposition BNP does not take part in the next national election.
The government has nothing to do if any party wants to skip the polls,” she told a press conference at Ganabhaban in the capital.”The Election will take place in due time as per the constitution and those who believe in democracy and the peoples’ right to vote, those who have trust in the country’s people, will take part in the election.”
Hasina made the comments as journalists drew her attention to a recent statement by BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir that the party would not participate in upcoming national polls without its Chairperson Khaleda Zia, who is now in jail over a corruption case.
court has awarded her the imprisonment, I did not and [so] I can’t withdraw it either,” she said.
The PM said the case against the BNP chief was filed in 2008 by the past Military-backed interim government led by “her [Khaleda’s] own confidants” while the investigation was carried out by the independent Anti-Corruption Commission.
“The trial ran for long 10 years when she [Khaleda] exhausted all the options to upset the trial proceedings by filing 80 writ petitions, got the judges changed trice by expressing no confidence [on their neutrality] and had the hearings deferred 109 times,” she said.
The premier said the chief of the past-interim government, Fakhruddin Ahmed, was a trusted bureaucrat of Khaleda and on the other hand, she made MU Ahmed the army chief superseding nine generals while the then President Iajuddin Ahmed was also made the head of the state by her BNP government.
“Yet she [Khaleda] was convicted of graft for embezzling orphans money … such a crime draws punitive actions both from divinity and the court.”
She recalled that even Khaleda’s counsel Barrister Rafique ul Haque had suggested her to refund the embezzled money so that she could be acquitted from the graft charges “but she did not do so”.
Asked for comments about making Khaleda’s “fugitive and
convicted” son Tarique Rahman the acting BNP chief after her conviction, Hasina said “wasn’t there any sane person in BNP . . . couldn’t she [Khaleda] keep confidence in any of her party leaders”.