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Democracy was under threat if polls not opened for all: PM

Staff Reporter:

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said the country’s democracy would have snatched away if the parliamentary election was not opened for all.
“Not only the election would have been discolored with stigma, but also the country’s democracy would have been hijacked, if the election was not opened for all,” she said in her introductory speech at the extended meeting of Awami League(AL) at Ganabhaban.
Sheikh Hasina, also the President of ruling (AL), also mentioned that if the election was not opened for her party men then Bangladesh’s status as a developing country would have been destroyed.
She added that “don’t say that we forget the election manifesto which we have placed before the election to retain this achievement,” mentioning that every year during the budget formulation they used to fol-low the election manifesto.
She continued to say her party has again opened upazila elections, which is approaching, for all her party men.
The Premier said, “it will also be scrutinised how much work has been done for the common people in the last 15 years remaining in power, and who could not do that. Through it (scrutiny) we will judge who is more acceptable to the people.”
She issued warning against any sort of confrontation in the upcoming local government elections. She said, adding
“We don’t want any kind of confrontation. Stern actions will be taken against the persons, whoever he or she is responsible for their involvement.”
Mentioning that the 12th parliamentary election was free, fair and neutral, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina who was reelected as Bangladesh Premier for the fourth consecutive term, said that those who want to raise question about the election, must clearly mention their evidence in favour of it.
She said that elections have been held in many developed countries of the world, but it has not yet been accepted by their opponents.
She added, “The election in Bangladesh was very fair. Public administration, armed forces, law and or-der forces and all those involved in the election have performed their duties impartially.”
Sheikh Hasina said that she saw that there was a big conspiracy regarding the 12th general election to make sure that the voters do not come to polling stations, the election could not be hold in a fair manner, and it would be easy to put the election under question.
She went on, “I have made this election open with an aim to ensure that the election is not put under question. At least if an opponent exists, 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.”
For that purpose the election could not be put under question, she added.
She asked all to forget the enmity that evolved during the 12th parliamentary election where the party nominated and party men contested separately.
“What has happened, let’s forget all. Everyone must work together. Work should be done keeping trust and faith on the people,” said Sheikh Hasina, adding, “If any problem arises somewhere, we are there to solve it, the central committee will do it. But there should be no suicidal conflict between ourselves.”

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