The Awami League is viewing Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda's remarks lauding BNP founder Ziaur Rahman as a strategy to make the party happy and draw it to the next national elections.
Many AL leaders, however, were disappointed over the CEC's remark that Ziaur Rahman restored multi-party democracy in the country, party insiders say.
Talking to reporters yesterday, AL General Secretary Obaidul Quader said Nurul Huda's comment on Ziaur Rahman may be a strategy to ensure the BNP's participation in the election.
“The BNP is in a cheerful mood now. I expect it will remain unchanged till the elections,” Quader said, responding to a question at Krishibid Institute.
“We don't want pity from the Election Commission, we rather expect impartiality.”
Quader, also the road transport and bridges minister, said they will ask about CEC's remark during AL's talks with the Election Commission (EC) on October 18.
CEC's remark, during the EC's talks with the BNP on Sunday, that Ziaur Rahman restored multi-party democracy in the country has been widely discussed in political circles and social media platforms.
When Nurul was appointed as the CEC, BNP and its allies called him a controversial government official and said they were deeply frustrated and aggrieved.
Talking to The Daily Star about Nurul's remark, AL Presidium Member Abdur Razzak, said, “CEC has made a personal opinion. Bangabandhu's Baksal was a different system of governance. I do not believe that military autocrat Ziaur Rahman restored multi-party democracy.
“I think multi-party democracy in the real sense started in 1991.”
At a rally at AL headquarter on Bangabandhu Avenue, Fazlul Haque Mantu, executive president of Jatiya Shramik League, a pro-AL organisation, said Zia never restored multi-party democracy and demanded CEC withdraw his remark.
Meanwhile, Abdul Kader Siddique, president of Krishak Sramik Janata League yesterday demanded the CEC's resignation.
“CEC cannot say that Ziaur Rahman restored multi-party democracy in the country. If Zia had restored democracy then someone had killed multi-party democracy,” he told reporters after a meeting at EC office with the CEC in the chair.
Kader led a delegation and placed an 18-point proposal at the meeting.
Following the two-and-a-half hour meeting with the election commissioners yesterday, Kader claimed that he had boycotted it protesting the CEC's remark.
“The CEC was alone in saying this and did not discuss it with the other election commissioners and we do not agree with his comments. That is why we boycotted the dialogue. We demand his resignation.”
Kader also said the CEC told him that he got the information of the good work the BNP has done from the internet.
His 18-point proposal included dissolution of parliament, formation of a poll-time non-partisan and neutral government and deployment of army at least 15 days ahead of the election.