Rejecting outright the opposition demand for restoration of the caretaker government system, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday said her government would not budge an inch from the constitutional provision in holding the next general election.
“Everything will be done as per the constitution, and there’ll be no budge even an inch from the constitutional provision,” said a resolute premier while replying to a question at a press conference at her official residence Ganobhaban in the afternoon.
Hasina said she believes in the constitution and her party has amended it after having people’s mandate.
When referred to BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Alamgir’s Saturday’s comment that there would be a constitutional crisis after October 25, the Prime Minister ruled out the possibility saying, “Whatever they’re (opposition) thinking is not right, and that will not happen at least I can say.”
She, however, alleged that BNP was trying to create a constitutional crisis in the country.
“But, we don’t want that and the people of the country also do not want that.”
Hasina said the main opposition BNP had long been hatching conspiracies through a negative propaganda against the government.
While responding to a question regarding the continuation of parliament after October 25, the Awami League chief said parliament would be there in place till the next election although officially there would be no parliament session.
Describing the point further, Hasina said the President might call parliament into session any time if he wants when there is a necessity.
Citing the examples of parliamentary system in democratic countries elsewhere in the world, she said the next election would be held as per the constitution and as per the parliamentary system in other democracies.
The Prime Minister also categorically assured the people of the country that the next general election would be held in due time as per the constitution and they would be able to exercise their franchise freely. “The next government will be formed as per the people’s desire,” she insisted.
Regarding the recent move of the Election Commission to curtail its power in cancellation of candidature, Hasina said it is purely the matter for the Election Commission and the government has nothing to say in this regard.
But, she said, it was often seen in the past that the candidates whose candidature had been cancelled by the Election Commission, got back his or her eligibility to contest election with the higher court’ s verdict.
Hasina claimed her government has strengthened the Election Commission and it is fully independent now.
She said that the Election Commission gets the absolute power during election for holding it in free and credible manner.
In this regard, Hasina mentioned that some 5,723 elections at different tiers were held during the last four and a half years where some 63,941 representatives were elected, and there had been no allegation against any of those elections. “My government and administration didn’t create any impediment towards holding any election.”
The Prime Minister also mentioned that many ruling party candidates and ruling party-backed candidates had to taste defeats in those elections.
Hasina said the country needs to start the trend of holding election as per the constitution for introducing the democratic system.
Making a pointed reference to Magura and Mirpur by-elections, she said it is proven that BNP is not capable of holding free and fair election.
Saying that a vested quarter is out to be part of the government, Hasina said why the nation and the country should suffer for fulfilling their undue desire. “Those involved in that vested quarter neither have courage to float a political party nor go to people for taking their mandate.”
“The country will run according to the constitution and the election will be held as per the provisions enshrined in it so that no unconstitutional force can grab power anymore,” the Prime Minister asserted.
PM firm to hold poll as per constitution