Jatiya Oikyafront leader Dr Kamal Hossain today called upon the supporters of the newly floated political alliance to guard the polling centres instead of boycotting the 11th parliamentary election scheduled to be held on December 30.
Dr Kamal, a veteran jurist and also president of Gono Forum, came up with the call while speaking as the chief guest at a rally organised by Jatiya Ainjibi Oikyafront on the premises of Supreme Court Bar Association in Dhaka this afternoon.
He said a huge loss has been incurred for boycotting the parliamentary election in 2014 and called upon the alliance leaders and supporters to ensure that no more such harm is done.
“You should guard the polling centres instead of calling for boycotting the election. Nobody can do anything if people are with us. We earned the independence of our country with our martyrs’ sacrifices; it is not a simple matter. We cannot betray with the blood of our martyrs,” Kamal said.
SCBA President and Jatiya Ainjibi Oikyafront Convener Joynul Abedin presided over the rally while BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir addressed the programme as the keynote speaker.
Expressing doubt over holding of a fair election by the incumbent Election Commission, Fakhrul said, “The Election Commission could not even hold fair local government polls, how would they hold the national election in a fair manner?”
He called upon the EC to ensure a level playing field for all political parties ahead of the upcoming election.
Both Dr Kamal Hossain and Fakhrul also called upon the government to release BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and allow her to contest the election.
BNP Standing Committee members Barrister Moudud Ahmed and Jamir Uddin Sircar also spoke at the programme.
When was the Jatiya Oikyafront formed?
The Jatiya Oikyafront was formally launched on October 13, 2018 after weeks of talks and intense negotiations.
The alliance was formed just two months before the national elections.
Who are in the Oikyafront?
BNP and several other political parties formed the alliance called Jatiya Oikyafront.
The alliance, which also includes Dr Kamal Hossain-led Jatiya Oikya Prokriya, during its launching unveiled an 11-point goal and promised to bring sweeping reforms in governance system if voted to power.
The two other partners in the alliance are Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD) led by ASM Abdur Rob and Nagorik Oikya led by Mahmudur Rahman Manna, a former Awami League leader.
Both the JSD and Nagorik Oikya are components of Juktofront, which was formed last year under the leadership of former president Prof Badruddoza Chowdhury, who is also president of Bikalpadhara Bangladesh (BDB).
What are their goals and demands?
The 11-point goal announced by the alliance includes ensuring checks and balances in the state power, decentralisation of administration, freeing MPs from the stringent restrictions imposed on them under article 70 of the constitution, formation of a constitutional commission to make appointments to all constitutional and other important posts, and full independence of the judiciary.
The alliance also announced a seven-point demand, including the one for holding the next parliamentary election under a non-partisan government, dissolution of parliament before the polls and recasting the Election Commission.