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PM Hasina: Only Awami League exercises democracy, holds fair polls in Bangladesh

A Correspondent:

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday said that democracy in Bangladesh is practised only by her party, the Awami League, which has a history of holding free elections.

“The Awami League practises a democratic system, and fair democratic practices prevail during the Awami League’s rule,” she said.

The prime minister, now on a four-day official visit to Japan, was speaking at a civic reception at Westin Hotel.

She said all elections under the Awami League have been held fairly.

In this connection, Sheikh Hasina said Md Abdul Hamid made history by completing his two terms as president peacefully.

“This has been the first time in the history of the country that the outgoing president and the new president could complete all procedures peacefully. This is a democratic process,” she said.

The Awami League chief said former military dictator Ziaur Rahman destroyed the election process during his military regime. “The process was continued by another military ruler, HM Ershad, and former prime minister Khaleda Zia.”

She mentioned that there was no political stability in 29 out of 50 years of Bangladesh after the assassination of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on August 15, 1975.

“There was no democratic process and there was no democratic rule of law in those days,” she stated.

She slammed those who fail to see democracy and development in the country.

Sheikh Hasina said the opposition BNP’s history is so tarnished that it has no face to take part in elections.

She said in the 2008 election, the BNP-Jamaat alliance got only 30 seats while the Awami League-led grand alliance bagged all other seats.

“For that reason, they (BNP-Jamaat) did not take part in the 2014 election,” she said.

Referring to “arson terrorism” by the BNP-Jamaat nexus in 2013-15, she said they killed at least 500 people and destroyed many government and private establishments.

“Now how can they participate in the election and seek votes from the people?” she questioned.

She urged all to remain alert so that the country remains free of militancy, terrorism and drugs.

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