US ambassador to Bangladesh Marcia Bernicat has met BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia to get her views on the country’s current political situation.
The meeting at Khaleda’s residence at Gulshan on Monday evening lasted about an hour and a half.
This meeting came soon after the BNP chief has been summoned to court in a case of sedition.
In a press release after the meeting, Bernicat expressed her happiness over getting a chance to know Khaleda Zia’s mind on the present political situation in Bangladesh.
She said the country’s commitment to democracy has played a significant role in its development. She hoped all political parties would air their views peacefully.
BNP’s Acting General Secretary Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir and other senior party leaders were present at the meeting.
BNP Standing Committee Member Moyeen Khan, who was present during the talks, said. “The country’s political situation was discussed.”
He said a whole gamut of issues such as the economy, social policy, law and order, security, and, more importantly, the aspects of democratic practices in the country had featured in the discussions.
He said the present parliament was elected in a poll ‘without votes’, and the government thus formed lacks transparency and accountability.
The BNP had boycotted the last parliamentary election, demanding a caretaker regime to oversee the polls.
He said the absence of democratic values at present posed a serious challenge to the country’s 160 million people.
Moyeen said: “We hold discussions with the envoys of various countries. The meeting today (Monday) was along those lines. The main subject of our discussions was how to build a democratic Bangladesh by learning from our past mistakes.”
Moyeen declined a straight answer when asked if the sedition case filed against Khaleda Zia had been discussed. “The absence of democracy in this country was discussed,” he said.
When asked whether the holding of a snap poll had also been discussed, Moin said: “It is a matter for the government to decide.”
“We said in the meeting that we have rejected the election of Jan 5, 2014. We stressed that it was no election, as less than five percent of the people had voted. And a Parliament, in which 154 MPs are elected without voting, is no parliament.”
Source: Bd news24