Saturday, April 20, 2019 | ePaper

BNP won't join any polls under AL govt

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Staff Reporter :
Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) will no longer take part in the election to be held under the Awami League regime.
Party's highest policymaking body has decided not to contest in the upcoming local government election in upazilas (sub-districts), in view of the general election held on 30 December 2018 was rigged favouring AL, sources in the party said.
This decision means the party will not allow any leader to take part in the upazila election with the party's 'Sheaf of Paddy' symbol unlike they did in the past such polls in 2014.
The BNP Secretary General, Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, emphasised strengthening the alliance with the existing allies and with the Oikya Front. "There is no 2nd option to unity," he told a gathering, about the BNP's alignment.
The BNP standing committee at a meeting in the city on Tuesday unanimously took the decision on boycotting all election under the AL from now on, party leaders said.
They argued that after the unprecedented rigging and manipulating in the 11th national election, there is no rationale to contest in any polls under the AL and the current EC.
 "The results of the election are pre-predetermined and the EC's role will remain the same, so there is no justification of joining election which gives legitimacy to the EC and this government," a leader pointed out.
The BNP will soon convey this decision to its allies partners of the 20-party alliance and the new coalition of the Jatiya Oikya Front.    If any BNP leaders want to contest the upazila election, they will have to resign from the party to do so, party sources said about the decision.
The standing committee meeting, joined by BNP acting chairman Tarique Rahman from London through video conference, discussed in details the party's next course of action, taking stock of the recent election and costs and benefits of forming the Oikya Front.
Instead of joining the upazila election, the main opposition party will focus on programmes demanding release of party chairperson Khaleda Zia from jail and
re-organisation of the party and its front organisaions.
The BNP will hold its national council session once the tenure of the current committee expires in March, according to the decision.
A few leaders at the standing committee meeting expressed frustration about the Oikya Front's failure to highlight the rigging in the election as well as earlier failure to organise movement before the election.
They said they would be watching the Front's attitude towards the BNP's demand for release of Khaleda Zia in the coming days.

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