None can stop polls, no dialogue with BNP: PM

Sheikh Hasina

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina addresses a news conference on recently held BIMSTEC summit at Gana Bhaban in Dhaka on Sunday. — BSS photo

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday ruled out the possibility of holding any dialogue with opposition political parties on the next general election.
She also said that none would be able to foil the 11th parliamentary polls due by January 2019 and Election Commission was expected to announce the schedule in early November.
‘There is no question of holding any dialogue on the next general election,’ Hasina said, trashing Bangladesh Nationalist Party’s repeated demand for dialogue on the election-time neutral government.
She was addressing a press conference at Ganabhaban after returning from Nepal where she attended the 4th BIMSTEC Summit on August 30 and 31.
‘It is matter of individual decision if a party will join the election or not,’ she stressed.
‘Whether BNP will take part or not in the election is their matter,’ Hasina added.
Hasina, also president of ruling Awami League and leader of ruling alliance, reiterated that the next general polls would be held on its scheduled time.
The election would be held in a free, fair and credible manner and the voters would be able to cast their votes for their desired candidates, Hasina assured.
There were various conspiracies, she mentioned, to foil the election but no plots would be successful as people would resist the conspiracies.
On Bangladesh Nationalist Party’s demand for release of the party chairperson Khaleda Zia before the election, Hasina said her government had nothing to do to with it.
‘The court convicted her in a corruption case. Our government has no relation with it,’ she said.
‘Her [Khaleda] release must be through court. Or she may seek presidential clemency,’ Hasina said regarding freeing her political rival.
Khaleda Zia landed in jail in February after a special court sentenced her to five years’ imprisonment in a graft case.
Hasina appreciated the floating of a new political combine, led by Biklapadhara president AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury and Gono Forum president Kamal Hossain.
She, however, was skeptical if the new political combine would join the election.
‘But we want all political parties to participate in the election,’ she added.
‘In our country there is a section of people who wait for changes of power in an unconstitutional way. They reap benefit of the unconstitutional way of change,’ she mentioned.
Replying to a question on using electronic voting machine in the next polls, Hasina said the system was modern and used in different countries.
Hasina supported experimental uses of EVM in the next general elections.
But, she said, BNP was entirely opposed to the use of EVM as it would bury scope of stuffing of ballots as per their design.
On Rohingya issue, the prime minister said Myanmar was spreading falsehood by releasing fake photos.
‘They have tarnished their own image with this. The have destroyed their position in the international arena,’ she commented.
She said the same kind of propaganda with fake photos was also carried out by BNP-Jamaat in 2013, 2014 and 2015 in Bangladesh.
‘My question is whether they (Myanmar) learnt the tactic from our BNP-Jamaat,’ she asked.
Hasina said she never wanted confrontational situation with neighbouring country Myanmar.
She said Myanmar never denied anything and assured that they would take back the Rohingyas. ‘But the reality is that they do not act accordingly,’ she lamented.

Source: New Age


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