The army has been entrusted with a tough task to create an atmosphere for holding a free, fair and inclusive election, said Jatiya Oikyafront Convener Dr Kamal Hossain yesterday.
He also hoped the army would stand by the country's people at this moment.
Election atmosphere has not improved till now although BGB has been deployed in different parts of the country, the eminent jurist told a press conference at the Oikyafront's central office in the capital.
“It's a matter of hope that the army is on the field. We are proud of our army, which played an extraordinary role in the Liberation War and is now discharging the duties in the peacekeeping missions across the globe successfully,” he said.
The nation expects a role from the army in holding a free, fair and participatory election, he added.
Pointing to incidents of obstruction to campaigns and attacks on opposition candidates and their supporters despite army deployment, the alliance leader said those were totally unexpected.
Dr Kamal, also Gonoforum president, said, “A blueprint for holding a one-sided election is afoot and this cannot be acceptable to those who believe in democracy and have good senses. This will be suicidal. If this happens, the country and the nation will face a great damage. At this moment, the patriotic army will stand by the country's people.”
Mentioning that the armed forces had played a neutral and effective role and assisted in holding free and fair polls in the past, he hoped that this time too it would do the same for the December 30 polls.
People are getting united against “the oppressive and anti-people government” to bring change through the December 30 election like they did in 1971 and 1991, he said.
In the presence of top Oikyafront leaders, Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, Mahmudur Rahman Manna and Kader Siddique, the Oikyafront convener claimed that around 7,000 alliance men had so far been arrested since the election schedule was announced on November 8.
In a written statement, he said violence that began after the formal launching of electioneering had not stopped yet. Rather, incidents of violence were increasing day by day.
Dr Kamal called upon all, especially students, youths and democracy-loving people, to cast their votes to take forward the logical movement for restoring democracy.
He added that the “anti-state power” would continue to rule the country if a fair election was not held.
Earlier at another programme at the Jatiya Press Club, Dr Kamal said those who try to deprive people of their voting right are the enemies of independence, UNB adds.
“People waged the Liberation War with a dream of becoming the country's owners and enjoying the right to exercise their franchise. We're now united to cast our votes.”
He was addressing the programme organised by Sammilito Peshajibi Parishad as the chief guest.
“Even after 47 years of the country's independence, we've to go to election through a movement. What can be more shameful than this?" questioned Dr Kamal.
“Who've brought this shame on us? We were supposed to exercise our franchise with joy. But there's no congenial atmosphere for voting. "
Those who try to obstruct people from exercising their voting right have no respect for independence, Bangabandhu, Tajuddin and the lakhs of martyrs, he added.
“We've earned independence sacrificing the blood of lakhs of martyrs. Martyrs entrusted us with the responsibility to protect our independence. We've to elect our representatives through exercising our franchise to protect our independence,” Dr Kamal added.