PM hopes next election to be free, fair

DHAKA, Jan 30, 2017 (BSS) - Expressing her firm optimism that next general election would be free and fair, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said Awami League believes in democracy and the people's rights to vote.

"We believe in democracy, the people's empowerment and their voting rights ... I hope that every election in future would be free and fair," she said.

She added: "Our aim is that the next election would be free, fair and impartial and the people will cast their votes and will elect their representative as per their wish ... it totally depends on them."

Sheikh Hasina, also the AL president, said this while delivering her introductory speech at a joint emergency meeting of AL Central Working Committee and Advisory Council at Ganabhaban here tonight.

The meeting has been conveyed to decide about the Search Committee's request to send five names from each party, who participated in the dialogue with the President, for constituting the next election commission.

Pointing out the recent district council elections and Narayanganj City Corporation polls, the premier said those elections were held in a free, fair and neutral manner.

"The people casted vote in that elections as per their wish and they got the results in the way they exercised their franchise of vote ... I hope that the people would cast vote in every future poll as per their wish. It was our slogan and we want to ensure it," she added.

The prime minister also expressed her hope that none would be able to play ducks and drakes with the voting rights of the people.

Sheikh Hasina said that there is a constitution in the country and the country will be run and the socioeconomic condition of the people would improve as per the constitution.

She said: "It is now the people who will decide whether they want the peace or oshanti (unrest) of "Oshanti Begum" ... they will decide it, we have nothing to say here."

The AL chief also said that her party always serves the people and does the politics with mentality of serving the people.

"We did not come to power to keep only ourselves good, we are here to do good for the people, this is our politics ... our political philosophy is to ensure the welfare of the people," she said.

The premier said the people would judge that how much her party did for the welfare of the country and the people.

Sheikh Hasina mentioned that AL does not want to see the dark days that engulfed the country after the assassination of the Father of the Nation comes back.

The premier said the BNP-Jamaat didn't want independence of the country. "The war criminals killed our mothers and sisters and raped them. They also burnt and looted houses," she said.

The AL president said the BNP-Jamaat wants to destroy the country and spoil the life of the people.

"Whenever BNP-Jamaat came to power, they played ducks and drakes with the lot of the people," she said, adding the people will judge whether they were in good condition during BNP-Jamaat regime or the AL tenure.

"Whenever we came to the power the people led a better life and the country was rewarded in the international arena, while the BNP's coming to the power means the country runs to the path of destruction and darkness plunges the people's lives," she said.

Sheikh Hasina also said that people have to choose the path of peace and they will have to realize the huge difference that exists between the AL and BNP.

"There will be no room for terrorism and militancy in the country ... we have contained these social menaces with iron hand and it would continue," she said.

"We want to ensure peace and development ... we want to present a beautiful life to the people and take the country towards the light," she said adding the AL runs the country with that aim.

The premier said her party achieved success in running the country as it pursues a good policy and wants to do work for the people.

Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh earned independence under the leadership of Bangabandhu. "The aim of the Father of the Nation was to build a hunger and poverty free Sonar Bangla and we are working to achieve the goal," she said.

In this connection, she elaborated her government's stunning success in the socioeconomic field.

Sheikh Hasina said the poverty rate came down significantly, while the people of all classes and professions are getting their desired services.

"There is no crisis of food in the country as Bangladesh became self-reliant in food ... the people's living standard is improving and they are receiving healthcare services at their doorsteps," she said.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)