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EC’s desire to stop protests is unprecedented and anti-people: Rizvi

Staff Reporter:

BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi called the Election Commission’s decision to send a letter to the Home Ministry requesting a ban on political rallies between December 18 and January 7 “unprecedented and anti-people.”

Condemning the letter, Rizvi said, “The Election Commission, which has become a subservient and controversial state institution of the Awami League, has recently taken an unprecedented and anti-people decision.”

The Election Commission has requested the Home Ministry not to give permission to hold any political programmes or rallies, except those pertaining to the election campaign, between December 18 and the election day.

The request was made in a letter sent to the Secretary of the Public Security Department of the Ministry of Home Affairs on Tuesday.

In reaction, the BNP issued a statement signed by Rizvi.

The BNP leader said, “The biased and incompetent Election Commission has taken an anti-people decision to organise a dummy election on January 7, 2024 through seat sharing.”

Rizvi said it is now evident why there’s a widespread distrust towards this Election Commission and why it is not possible to create a level playing field or hold free and fair elections under its authority.

“All pro-democracy forces condemn this unjust move amid misrule, corruption and unbearable price hike of essential commodities to suppress people’s desire for freedom and independence,” the BNP leader said in the statement.

“Earlier, the spineless Election Commission complied with the fascist government’s directives by registering political parties and recognising fake organisations as election observers,” he added.

Rizvi said the attempted deception of the Awami League and the Election Commission by creating “so-called” political parties and by bringing hired local and foreign election observers were exposed before the nation.

“Earlier, the spineless Election Commission complied with the fascist government’s directives by registering political parties and recognising fake organisations as election observers,” he said.

Calling BNP’s ongoing “peaceful and non-violent” movement a fight for restoring democracy, Rizvi called on the commission to withdraw its decision.

“We are expressing concern and condemning the new attempt to stop the political programmes. This evil initiative to suppress the right to democratic expression will further intensify the ongoing political, economic and diplomatic crisis in Bangladesh,” Rizvi said.

The BNP leader emphasised that while refraining from participating in an election is a democratic right for any individual or party, the BNP is not opposed to participating in elections.

“We believe that the BNP’s landslide victory is inevitable if there’s a free, fair, participatory and credible election,” he added.

Rizvi said BNP is conducting a simultaneous movement with the participation of all “democracy-loving” political parties.

“Sixty-three political parties, including the BNP, have boycotted the election to reflect the aspirations of the people,” he said.

“Our peaceful and united movement demanding election under an election-time neutral and non-partisan government by restoring the voting rights of 12 crore voters will continue and will be further intensified.”

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