Fakhrul doubted on fair municipality polls

Questioning the Election Commission’s (EC’s) neutrality, BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Sunday doubted whether the municipal polls will be held free on December 30.“People will get back their confidence in the country’s election system if the municipal election is held fairly. But, unfortunately our EC couldn’t play any neutral role from the very beginning of the polls. They’re performing a partisan role,” he alleged.

Fakhrul further said, “We’ve read in the newspapers that the elections will be conducted by the administration. Under the circumstances, its gradually getting clear that how much the municipal polls will be free and fair.”

The BNP acting secretary general came up with the remarks while talking to reporters at the party’s Nayapaltan central office, five days after he was released from jail on bail.

Fakhrul went to the BNP office around 11:40am. BNP leaders and activists welcomed him with wreaths. Later, he talked to the journalists.

The BNP leader said the EC can hold a fair election if it only tries to do it. “During the caretaker governments in the past, the ECs played a neutral role. But we didn’t find any sign of neutrality from the current EC regarding national polls to local ones.”

He alleged that the Commission hurriedly formulated the election rules and the code of conduct which are not conducive to holding a fair and inclusive election. “Most parties couldn’t properly complete their preparations for joining the polls. The Commission’s such attitude also demonstrated that it’s carrying out a particular party’s directions.”

Terming BNP’s decision to take part in the polls appropriate, Fakhrul said, their party joined the election as part of their movement for restoring democracy. “Though there’ll be no change in the government through the local body polls, there’s a chance to restore democracy. So, as a liberal party, we joined it.”

Replying to a question on what issues BNP will focus on in the municipal polls, he said, “Our party’s leaders and activists are being arrested and implicated in false cases every day. Despite such an adverse situation, we are in the election race in the interest of democracy. We want to restore people’s voting rights. Our main slogan is ‘restoring democracy and getting back people’s rights.”

The BNP leader also hoped that their party candidates will do very well in the polls if the voters can freely exercise their franchises.