Polls under emergency would be selection, not election
Members of different political parties and professional bodies yesterday expressed their apprehension that the December 18 national election could be a selection if it is held under the state of emergency.
Saying there is no alternative but to holding the election on the scheduled date, they also apprehended that extra-constitutional forces might assume power if the election is not held on the day.
“Election under emergency may be a selection, not an election. There is also a possibility of martial law if the election is not held on the day,” said Dr Abul Barakat, general secretary of Bangladesh Economics Association, at a roundtable at the National Press Club in the city.
Peshajibi Shamannay Parishad, a platform of different professionals, organised the discussion titled 'Jatiya Sangsad election 2008: Apprehension and possibility' with its Convener Principal Kazi Faruk Ahmed in the chair.
Presented a keynote paper, Member Secretary of the parishad Dr Qamrul Hasan Khan placed a 10-point recommendation for the government to remove all doubts over holding the election in time.
His recommendations include creating a congenial atmosphere through talks with political parties, bringing back people's confidence for a free and fair election, withdrawal of emergency, permanent release of Awami League President Sheikh Hasina and deferral of upazila election.
Barkat alleged that the US, which opposed the liberation war, has still been interfering in the country's politics since 1971. It (US) needs such a parliament, which would serve its interests.
The fall of capitalism in the US has increased the demand of good leadership in the third world countries like Bangladesh, he added.
Prof AAMS Arefin Siddique, former president of Duta and co-convener of the parishad, called on the political parties to remain alert so that no designed election is held on December 18. He also ruled out formation of any national consensus government before and after the polls.
“There is no alternative to holding the election on December 18,” said Worker party President Rashed Khan Menon, observing that 1/11 like same situation might erupt again in the country if they again listen to the US, IMF, World Bank or UN suggestions regarding holding the election.
JSD President Hasanul Haque Inu accused the chief adviser of compromising with the BNP-Jamaat four-party coalition. He said if Fakhruddin Ahmed acts like Iajuddin Ahmed, there would not be any alternative to 14-party combine but to resist the upcoming election.
The government and the Election Commission would be responsible for any chaotic situation in the country if the election is not held on the date, he added.
Maj Gen (retd) KM Shafiullah, one of the organisers of Sector Commanders' Forum, said they would make a list of war criminals public within a few days and asked all political parties not to nominate them in the next election.
AL leaders Abdul Mannan, Dr Abdur Razzak, Dr Mostafa Jalal Mohiuddin, Mozaffar Hossain Paltu, Ganatantri Party President Nurul Islam, Communist Kendra President Dr Wajedul Islam Khan, Editor of the Bangladesh Observer Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, Ahad Chowdhury and Golam Kuddus also spoke.