Country’s democracy would have snatched away if 12th national polls not opened for all: PM Sheikh Hasina

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Published on February 10, 2024
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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday said if she did not allow her party members to take part in last month's election as independent candidates the democracy of the country would have been snatched away.

“If the election was not opened for all (AL members) then not only the election would have been stained, the democracy of the country would have been hijacked too,” she said.

The prime minister was delivering her introductory speech at the extended meeting of Awami League at her official residence Ganabhaban.

This election was important to maintain the country's status as a developing country, she said.

“We should not forget the election manifesto that we announced before the election to retain this achievement. Every year during the budget formulation we follow the election manifesto,” she said.

Hasina, also the chief of ruling Awami League, said that her party has also opened the upcoming upazila elections for all her party members to make it participatory.

“It will also be scrutinised how much work has been done for the common people in the last 15 years while in power, and who could not deliver. Through it we will see who is accepted by the people,” she said.

She issued warning against any sort of confrontation in the upcoming local government elections.

“We do not want any kind of confrontation. Stern actions will be taken against the individuals responsible for it no matter who they are,” she said.

Claiming that the 12th parliamentary election was free, fair and impartial, Hasina said that those who want to dispute the election they must give clear evidence.

She said that elections have been held in many developed countries of the world, but these are yet to be accepted by their opponents.

“Even the post-election violence has resulted in murders. But the election in Bangladesh was very fair. Public administration, the armed forces, law and order enforcement and all those involved in the election have performed their duties impartially,” she claimed.

Hasina said that there was a big conspiracy against the election to stop the voters from coming to polling centres and the votes are not hold free.

“I have made this election open to ensure that the election is not called to question. If at least one opponent remains the election would be competitive, the voters will come, they will vote according to their choice, they will vote for whoever they want, the people will get that right,” she said.

She also said that for that purpose the election could not be questioned.

She asked all to forget the rivalry that emerged during the election in places where the party nominated candidates fought the independents from the party.

“Let's forget all that happened. Everyone must work together. Work should be done keeping trust and faith on the people. If any problem arises somewhere, we are there to solve it, and the central committee will do it. But there should be no suicidal conflict between themselves,” she said.