'Govt wants to prove thru' Gazipur polls that fair election under it possible'
Published : Friday, 26 May, 2023 at 9:33 PM Count : 436
Through the Gazipur City Corporation (GCC) election, the government is trying to prove that 'a free and fair general election under it is possible,' BNP standing committee member Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury has said.
"You have seen that an election was held in Gazipur...they tried to show that they held a fair election and we've seen the results. This is the real scenario of Bangladesh," he said.
"No election is held in free and fair manner in Bangladesh. It's very unfortunate. Many things can be said about Gazipur city election. As the government would have to show a fair election, they showed it through the Gazipur city polls," he said.
He made the comments while addressing a programme, marking the 28th foundation anniversary of Dhaka Reporters' Unity (DRU) on Friday.
The BNP leader said a level-playing field must have to be ensured first before holding the next general election. "Any talk on election is destined to fail without restoring democratic atmosphere in the country. Those who favour talks on the next election, they are surely work for this government."
Referring to the freedom of mass media in Bangladesh, Amir Khosru said the government is now supressing that freedom through the notorious Digital Security Act. Journalists also face threats and intimidation for some people. But, all have to work to bring the standards of journalism back again.
In this regard, he also pointed out that the visa policy announced by the United States clearly tells about the role of mass media in ensuring a free and fair election in the country.
"It is absolutely not possible to achieve democracy, human rights, rule of law, safety of life and freedom of speech without the full freedom and participation of journalists," he said and noted that restrictions would continue to be imposed one after another unless a democratic atmosphere could not be restored to the country.
Khosru said if the democratic atmosphere cannot be restored in the country, human rights and democracy can't be restored.
After the Digital Security Act, the BNP leader said the government is enacting another law 'Essential Services Act' which can be imposed on any organisation. "More laws will be enacted to carry out more repressions."
Khosru said the next election must be under a neutral government. "There's no alternative to it. "If we can't change the situation now prevailing in Bangladesh and restore democratic rights, fair a election will remain a far cry."
He slammed the government for not ensuring the trial of the murder of journalist couple Sagar-Runi and for creating pressure on journalists in various ways.