BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Tuesday categorically said the 18-party alliance will not participate in the next general election if it is held under the current regime keeping the 9th parliament in place.
“The Prime Minister on Monday has given her outline regarding the polls as per the blueprint they chalked out to hang onto power. We today equivocally want to say that the BNP-led 18-party alliance won’t accept it,” he said.
“The BNP-led 18-party alliance won’t participate in any polls unless it is overseen by a non-party caretaker government. The people of the country also won’t accept any election under a party government,” he added.
Fakhrul came up with remarks while talking to reporters at BNP’s Nayapaltan central office after a meeting with secretaries general of 18-party alliance which was apparently convened following the Prime Minister’s announcement that the general election will be held without dissolving the current parliament and the cabinet.
In a meeting with secretaries at the Cabinet Division, the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also said the constitutional term of the present government will expire on January 24, 2014 and the next general election would have to be held within its previous 90 days.
Reacting to the PM’s remarks, Fakhrul said no path to hold dialogue or reach a negotiation remains opened after what the Prime Minister has told the secretaries on Monday. “The Prime Minister has blocked all the ways of compromise by taking the decision to hold the election under a party government without dissolving parliament.”
He alleged that the government is playing a hide-and-seek game with people. “There’s no instance in any country in the world where a parliament election is held keeping outgoing parliament in place.”
Fakhrul, however, said there is still time to overcome the ongoing political crisis if good sense prevails upon the Prime Minister.
The opposition spokesman also said they will announce tougher action programs to force the government to concede to their demand for arranging the election under a non-party administration.
Asked about the strategy of their movement, he said they will disclose this in time.
The government wants to hold a lopsided election in a bid to reestablish one-party rule Baksal, he said adding, “They (govt) will snatch people’s all basic rights if they return to power defying pubic opinion and their demand.”
Fakhrul said they at the meeting of the 18-party’s secretaries general elaborately discussed the ongoing movement and the preparations being taken to make BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia’s rallies in Narsingdi, Rangpur, Rajshahi, Khulna, Barisal and Sylhet.
He said the 18-party leaders also condemned and criticized the arrest of Mufti Mohammad Wakkas, secretary general of Jamiatul Ulema-e-Islam, a component of the BNP-led 18-party alliance, and demanded his immediate release.
“The charges brought against him are politically motivated. Wakkas is a seasoned politician, Islamic Scholar and a former ministers and MP. He’s been arrested on false charges to harass him. We demand his immediate release,” he added.
DB police arrested Mufti Wakkas from the city’s Malibagh area around 3:30 pm.