Khaleda calls Dhaka march Dec 29


There is still time to scrap polls and come to a consensus, Khaleda Zia says

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia has called the nation to join the opposition in a “march for democracy,” wielding the national flag, on December 29.

The call was made to all “capable” quarters on Tuesday evening during the press conference of the BNP chief at her Gulshan office.

The programme has been set at Paltan just a week ahead of the January 5 national elections, where over half the constituencies will be won uncontested.

“The December 29 programme will be a historic march for democracy and neutral and non-partisan elections,” Khaleda Zia said.

She called all “capable” citizens to gather at Paltan BNP headquarters on December 29 with the national flag and urged the government not to impede the programme.

However, as the fifth spell of blockade ended on Tuesday, it remained unclear as to what will be the programme of the opposition until December 29.

Khaleda conveyed that the main opposition BNP is ready for a dialogue and called towards the government to scrap the “farcical” January 5 elections.

“Compromise is part of democracy. When we were in power in 1996, we went for compromise and accepted your caretaker proposal,” she said.

“Now you are in power. Compromise for the sake of the people. Do not waste the people’s money to hold partisan polls without the opposition.”

“We have shown the highest commitment towards dialogue, but the government did not respond. We came to know from the media that there will be no talks for the 10th elections.”

“This will not be an election, it will be a shameless selection,” she added pointing to the 158 constituencies where candidates will win polls uncontested.

“Democracy is for the people, by the people, of the people. I want to say democracy is dead; here, democracy is dictated by the Election Commission, for the Awami League, of the Awami League.”

“The government has snatched away the voting rights from 53% of the people,” Khaleda added. “There is still time, come to a compromise and scrap January 5 elections.”

She also called to the nation not to take part in the “farcical” national elections.

Awami League and main opposition BNP have been engaged in a rift over how the Januarty 5 elections will take place.

An amendment to the constitution in 2011 has scrapped the provision of caretaker government and states that a national polls will have to be held under a government.

The BNP has been waging agitation programmes since October, challenging this provision and demanding polls under a non-partisan government.

Over 150 people have died in the violence that ensued from this disparity between two major political parties over how the upcoming national elections will take place.

Source: Dhaka Tribune