Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said the next national elections will be held as per the constitution, no matter who are joining it and who are boycotting it.
The prime minister was speaking to reporters about the outcome of her recent official visit to Italy and Vatican City.
Hasina said the government has nothing to do if BNP does not participate in the upcoming general elections.
“It is a political decision. We have nothing to do if BNP participate in the next general
elections,” Hasina said.
About Khaleda Zia’s imprisonment in Zia Orphanage Trust graft case, the prime minister said close aides of Khaleda Zia filed the case against her and the court has given judgment.
She also criticised Bangladesh National Party (BNP) for dropping section seven from its charter and making Tarique Rahman, acting chairman of the party.
“Has the BNP plunged into a severe setback? Don’t they have any leader (except Tarique), who could be the acting chairman of the party,” the prime minister said.
Tarique Rahman himself is a convicted fugitive and he has been made acting chairman of BNP by dropping the section seven from the party constitution before the judgment of the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case, Hasina noted.
Tarique Rahman left the country during the last caretaker government regime giving an undertaken that he would not involve in politics, Hasina mentioned.
The prime minister went to Italy on Sunday last on a four-day official visit to attend the meeting of Rome-based International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) as one of its keynote speakers at the invitation of IFAD president Gilbert F Houngbo.
At the invitation of Pope Francis, Hasina also visited the Holy See (Vatican City) and held meetings with the Pope and secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin.
Court to decide fate of Zia: Ruling Awami League (AL) general secretary Obaidul Quader said Zia’s participation in the upcoming national election is under the jurisdiction of court.
“The court will decide whether Zia could contest the parliamentary polls...this is not a matter of politics of the ruling party,” said Quader.
The AL leader, also the road transport and bridges minister, said the removal of section 7 from the party’s constitution before the verdict is very ‘mysterious’. “The nation is yet to have an answer why BNP has dropped section 7 from its constitution,” he added.
According to section 7 (e) of the party constitution, if a person is convicted as per 1972 presidential order, declared bankrupt, proved unbalanced, known as corrupt or notorious in society, he or she is disqualified from being member of the national council, the national executive committee, the standing committee or member of executive committee at any level. The person will also be disqualified from being nominated by the party to contest the national election.
It is not possible to amend the party’s constitution without holding any council. “But, BNP has brought amendment to give licence to the convicted and corrupt leader (Tarique Rehman),” the minister said.
“We didn’t get any answer from BNP why they’ve made a corrupt and convicted leader their party’s acting chairman,” said the AL leader.
“Dropping section 7 will be appeared as having painful thorn for BNP,” Quader said adding, “BNP itself is creating a crisis. They’ll fall into a trap.”
Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina addresses a press conference as other party leaders look on in Dhaka yesterday.