Amid continued criticism over the Opposition’s boycott, the Prime Minister’s son says the general election will be accepted internationally if it is not ‘influenced’.
Returning home just 11 days before the Jan 5 polls, Sajeeb Ahmed Wajed Joy alleged the BNP was staying away because its ally Jamaat-e-Islami cannot contest.
The High Court earlier this year had cancelled Jamaat’s registration as certain clauses of the party’s charter were in conflict with the Constitution.
“The BNP does not go to election without the Jamaat taking sides with the war criminals. They (the BNP) will not contest it since the Jamaat cannot,” he said to reporters on Monday evening.
Joy continued: “There won’t be any problem if anyone stays away from the polls due to the trials of the (suspected) war criminals.”
Trial of the 1971 war crimes was an electoral pledge of the ruling Awami League-led Grand Alliance.
The US, EU and several other European countries have said they would not send observers in the Jan 5 parliamentary polls.
Asked if the polls would be credible without the observers, Joy shot back, “Why not?
“They said there was no need to send observers as the main opposition was not contesting. But they did not say the election will not be free and fair.”
“If people here accept the election, it will be acceptable. Because this time there are no 14 million fake voters like in 2006,” he retorted, referring to the huge numbers during the BNP-led government’s tenure.
Joy hoped the next parliamentary polls under the Awami League will be held in a free, fair and non-partisan manner.
He blamed the BNP’s stubbornness for the election being held without the Opposition. The Prime Minister’s son pointed out to the Awami eague offering the BNP several ministries in the polls-time government.
“It’s a democratic right of a political party to boycott the polls. We cannot force them to contest.”
Opposition Leader Khaleda Zia has repeatedly said she would not go to polls under Hasina, her arch political rival.
“What’s the logic? Why the Prime Minister, trying the war criminals, has to step down?
“It is clear that the Prime Minister’s resignation is being sought to stop the war crimes trials,” Joy observed.
The two international crimes tribunals, trying people for their anti-independence role in Bangladesh’s Liberation War, have sentenced nine people to varied terms.
Only two of the convicts belong to the BNP and the rest are current and former stalwarts of Jamaat, barring one who was a member.
Asked if he would be pleased with such election without the Opposition, Joy said, “I’m satisfied. You have to have an election in five years.”
“Won’t you get points if your opposition does not play a game fearing imminent defeat? I’m satisfied if the election is free and fair.”
Hasina has said her government would dissolve the 10th Parliament and call for fresh national elections if the BNP reached an agreement with her party and stopped killings.
Responding to another query, Joy said the new government’s tenure would be five years as per the Constitution.
He criticised Pakistan’s adopting resolutions condemning war crimes convict Abdul Quader Molla’s execution and Khaleda Zia’s silence over the matter.
“The Opposition chief did neither protest nor issue any statement against it. This matter concerns Bangladesh and I cannot accept her silence,” said Joy.
He told reporters that he had returned home to vote and campaign for the Awami League.
Source: Bd news24