BNP today welcomed the Election Commission’s decision to deploy army in the country from tomorrow ahead of the upcoming 11th Parliamentary Election slated for December 30.
“We welcome the decision to deploy army during the 11th Jatiya Sangsad polls. We sincerely believe that the deployment of army will help create a fair and neutral environment for the election which so far has not been in effect,” BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam said in a press statement today.
Mentioning that Bangladesh Army has always been dedicated to serving the nation and its people, Fakhrul said the army won’t let its image be tarnished by working in a partisan way.
“We hope every proud member of the Bangladesh Army would work for the sake of the countrymen in an effective way, and not in favour of any individual or any particular group,” he said in the statement.
“We strongly urge the Bangladesh Army to ensure equal scopes for all political parties and candidates in the election,” Fakhrul added.
Earlier on December 18, a total of 1,016 platoons of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) forces were deployed across Bangladesh to control the law and order situation.
Election Commissioner Rafiqul Islam said the paramilitary force has been deployed to remove the fear of all including the political parties.
On December 13, Election Commission Secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed announced that the EC will deploy army from December 24 as a striking force across the country during the 11th parliamentary election and it will remain in the field until January 2.
On November 15, the EC secretary said that army and BGB will be deployed five to 10 days before election.
WHY THE FUSS ABOUT ARMY?
Bangladesh’s major opposition parties including BNP and its alliance Jatiya Oikyafront have long been demanding army deployment for free and fair elections.
They fear of vote rigging by the ruling party, citing reasons that the election is going to take place under the partisan administration of Sheikh Hasina.
While declaring the first election schedule, Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda said that army will be deployed for aiding the civil administration.
WHEN IS THE ELECTION?
As per the revised polls schedule, the 11th parliamentary election will be held on December 30.
The Election Commission had fixed November 28 as the deadline for filing nomination papers, December 2 for scrutiny and December 9 last date of withdrawal.