Thursday, January 17, 2019 | ePaper

Election as per Constitution: PM

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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday said the next national election will be held in time as per the constitution, no matter who are joining it and who are boycotting it.  "The election will be held in time as per the constitution, no matter who are joining it and who are boycotting it," she said.
The Prime Minister came up with the remark at a press conference at her official residence Ganobhaban in the afternoon.  It was arranged to brief the media about the outcome of her recent official visit to Italy and Vatican City.
Sheikh Hasina said those who have belief in democracy and the voting rights of people and have confidence and trust in people will join the election. "Or else, we've nothing to do."
She mentioned that BNP did not participate in the last general election. "If any party doesn't join it this time as well then what we can do!"
The Prime Minister, also chief of the ruling Awami League, said Bangladesh now has a multiparty democratic system.
"This is absolutely the matter of any particular party whether it'll join the election or not...it's their party decision. But, the election will be held in time and people will cast their votes," she said.
Recalling the mayhem by the BNP-Jamaat clique during the last election, she said they could not resist the election at that time. "They won't be able to resist the election this time, too."
Hasina said participating in an election is the democratic and constitutional right of people.
Talking about the recent stance of BNP that it will not participate in the election without Khaleda Zia, recently convicted in graft case, the prime minister said the verdict was not given by her.
"Court has pronounced the verdict, and the case was filed during the caretaker government," the prime minister said.
Criticising BNP for dropping section seven from its charter and making Tarique Rahman, acting chairman of the party, Hasina wanted to know, "Didn't BNP have any leader except Tarique, who's also convicted in several cases, to make the acting chairman of the party?"
"Tarique Rahman is a convicted fugitive and has been made acting chairman of BNP by dropping section seven from the party constitution before the judgment of the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case," she said.
Hasina also said Tarique left the country during the caretaker government regime giving an undertaking that he would not involve in politics.
Responding to a question regarding repeated question paper leakage in various public examinations, the Prime Minister said there is nothing new in it. "This has been going on in the world for decades...sometimes it gets publicity and sometimes it does not, this is the reality," she said.
In the ongoing SSC examination, she said, question papers are coming out 20 minutes before the start of the examinations. "Perhaps, this is happening when the question paper enveloped are opened before the distribution. Some people probably are taking pictures of the question papers with their mobile phones. What can be done in this situation?" she questioned.
She also mentioned that it is very hard for an examinee to take the benefit of this question leak as there are very few talented students having a photogenic memory.
"Is the minister (Education Minister) going for leaking out the question, or the secretary (Education Secretary). It's neither they nor the teachers are doing this. But of course there is something for which question papers are being leaked out," Hasina told the journalists.
She sought cooperation from all, including the media, in finding out the culprits.
About the ongoing Rohingya issue, Hasina said the problem has been created by the Myanmar government and it is their responsibility to solve it. "From our side, we're holding dialogue with them. We've reached an understanding; we've formed a joint committee."
She said Bangladesh wanted to have a solution through dialogue as Myanmar is a neighbouring country. "We want Myanmar to take back their nationals through negotiations."
But, the Prime Minister said, Myanmar side is delaying the repatriation process showing various excuses. "When the repatriation will start, the Rohingyas will be interested to go back to their homeland."
Hasina also mentioned that it is the matter of big concern what the he Myanmar side will be doing.
In her written speech, the prime minister described her Vatican City and Italy tour has been very successful and fruitful.

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