Kamal alleges blocking of fair election, wants arrests stop

Dhaka, Dec 21 – Jatiya Oikya Front chief Dr Kamal Hossain on Friday alleged that what the government is now doing has outdone all the autocrats and urged it to keep cool.“I’ll say what the government is doing has outdone all the autocrats,” he said while addressing a press conference at Oikya Front’s Purana Paltan office.
Dr Kamal, also Gano Forum president, alleged that the government is blocking the way for a fair election in the country through arrest and repression of opposition leaders and activists.
He urged the government to immediately stop it or else, he warned, it will be accused of a serious crime of violating the Constitution.
Asking the government to keep cool, the Oikyafront chief said, “It can’t be called victory if you win an election in such a way. If so, it’ll destroy the Constitution and deprive people of their franchise.”
Presenting statistics on attacks and repression on opposition candidates and their supporters, he said, “It’s an unprecedented scenario of the field of election. It’s clear that the incidents are being carried out in a planned way at the directives from the centre. The Constitution is being violated through such acts.”
Dr Kamal said drives against opposition leaders and activists by police are going on across the country to suppress the opposition candidates and their supporters.
The Gano Forum chief said opposition candidates and activists are being subjected to unprecedented police harassment. “The way police were let loose on the streets against the opposition is unprecedented and contrary to the Constitution.”
He said if anyone gets elected without a fair election, they would not be able to claim themselves as public representatives. “It’ll be a false claim if the election is not held in a fair and credible manner. People won’t recognise them as their representatives which will only create a serious crisis.”
Kamal said it will be a serious onslaught on the country’s independence if people cannot cast their votes and the election is not held in a fair and credible manner. “Nothing can be a serious crime than that.”
He called upon law enforcers not to turn the election into a farce, and work neutrally if they have minimum respect for the Constitution and democracy.
Replying to a query about whether the Oikyafront will boycott the election, he said they will be in the election race till the last moment under any circumstances.
Asked whether they are disappointed over the silence of the neighbouring country about the recent attacks on the opposition, and the election atmosphere, Kamal said, “I won’t use the word ‘disappointment’, but I still expect positive action… I would beg to people in Delhi to look at those things.”
Mentioning that only a week is left before the election, Dr Kamal said it can be assumed what situation the voters will face on December 30 as the opposition candidates are now obstructed and attacked from carrying out electioneering.
He warned that people will not accept the election results if the government does not take steps to ensure a meaningful election shunning its repressive acts. “Keep it in mind that people in Bangladesh are very conscious. I’m asking you (govt) in a polite manner that stop foul things from tomorrow as the election is only a week away. Or else, people won’t accept the election and its results.”
The Oikyafront chief also said if the ruling party wins the election obstructing voters from exercising their franchise and stuffing ballots, the victory will not be meaningful and people won’t recognise the MPs. “So, it’s my request ‘let the election be held in a fair and credible manner. Please don’t be accused of violating the Constitution.”
Stating that the government is holding an ‘overdue’ nation election after five years, he said, “Please don’t turn the election into a farce. All the signs of a farcical election are now visible. I’ll observe from tomorrow (Saturday) whether you’re taking my request seriously. As a conscious citizen, not as an opposition leader, I humbly urge you to ensure a free and fair election obeying the laws.”
Dr Kamal also urged the authorities concerned to ask the government officials, including police, not to play any biased role. “I’ve got hurt seeing the attitude of the police. Look at the dictionary what is the meaning of neutrality. Your activities are completely contrary to neutrality.”
He urged the Election Commission to take proper steps to bring police to the right path shunning the path of repression.
The alliance demanded the Election Commission reschedule the election in the seats where its candidates have been declared ineligible by the court.
Reading out a written statement, Oikyafront leader JaglulHaiderAfrik also alleged that police have now become their rivals in the forthcoming 11th parliamentary elections.
He demanded that the controversial police officials be withdrawn immediately and replaced with neutral ones.
Oikyafront also announced to hold a grand rally at Suhrawardy Udyan on December 27, and rallies and mass processions in Dhaka-4 to Dhaka-18 constituencies every day at the same time from December 21 to December 24.
As many as 13 Oikyafront candidates have got their election bid curbed by the apex court on various grounds while its 16 candidates have so far been arrested. – UNB