Awami League General Secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader on Thursday said the European Union (EU) wants the next parliamentary elections to be a participatory one in Bangladesh.
“I have talked to the representatives of seven EU countries. Ahead of the next general elections, as the ruling party, we held meeting with the EU today. They want all parties including BNP to join the next polls,” he told reporters after the meeting with the Ambassadors of seven EU countries in Gulshan area of the capital, reports BSS.
“We told one thing clearly - Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina stated in her speech on Wednesday that the next elections will be credible, free and fair. In addition, the Election Commission (EC) will play an important role and the government will provide all kinds of support to the Commission,” he said.
There is no difference between the statements the AL leaders gave today and the premier’s speech as they echoed what the prime minister said, Quader said.
“At the same time, we are taking preparations ahead of the next elections,” he added.
Asked whether there was any advice about bringing BNP to the next elections, the AL general secretary said: “We will not listen to anyone’s instructions. Our guidelines are our constitution which we follow”.
He claimed that in Bangladesh, all the electoral reforms were brought during the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s tenure and on her initiative. “Even a law for elections has been passed in Parliament”.
He said the BNP ignored the President’s instructions on dialogue and even the EC invited the BNP twice to join its dialogues but it did not join.
“However, the BNP has always had a disinterest in dialogue. In fact, BNP is not willing to participate in the general elections because they (BNP leaders) know that the Awami League will come to power again under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina. So, BNP is resorting to ill tactics sensing defeat in the elections,” Quader said.
He said according to the information the AL is getting, the BNP is planning to oust the government by carrying out arson attack, terrorism and militancy again like that of 2014-15.
“BNP is destabilising the country in the name of movement and it is plotting to capture the state power by creating chaos,” the AL general secretary said.
AL presidium member Kazi Zafarullah, its information and research affairs secretary Dr Selim Mahmud, office secretary Biplab Barua and central committee member Mohammad A Arafat attended the meeting.