Elections to city polls to be a farce, fears BNP

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Dhaka: BNP on Friday feared that the elections to three city polls will turn into a farce as the Election Commission (EC) could not yet create a proper election atmosphere.

Speaking at a press conference at the party’s Nayapaltan central office, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir also said their party is eager to engage in talks with Awami League over the next general election.

“We feel embarrassed to talk about polls to local government bodies as those turned into a farce. The government is showing people a bioscope over the city polls,” he said.

The BNP leader further said, “We demand the Election Commission take necessary steps to create a proper atmosphere and release our arrested leaders and activists for holding credible and neutral polls to the three cities.”

Fakhrul alleged that the current Election Commission has failed to perform its duty as an independent and constitutional body.  “The nation is paying your salary and providing various facilities to ensure free and fair polls by exerting your authority. But, you’ve so far failed to do that.”

He alleged that the ruling party leaders are seriously violating the election code of conduct and obstructing BNP men from carrying out electioneering in the three cities. “The opposition leaders and activists are being arrested regularly.”

Fakhrul alleged that the ruling party men have established a reign of terror in the three cities, destroying the level-playing field.

He said the role of the both the government and the EC in the city polls has exposed that a fair and impartial national election will not be possible to hold under them.

Replying to a question, the BNP leader said their party has failed to reach an understating with Jamaat to withdraw its mayoral candidate in Sylhet.

He, however, hoped that their party mayoral candidate will come out successful in Sylhet city polls without Jamaat’s support. “BNP needs not to depend on any party to win the polls as it’s a self-reliant party.”

Responding to another question, Fakhrul said their party is ready to hold talks with Awami League any time anywhere for holding the next general election in a fair and credible manner with the participation of all parties. “We’ve long been talking about dialogue and we’re again saying we’re eager and ready for talks.”

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