The government must ensure release of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia for a free, fair and credible general election, the party’s Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir has said.
"We cleared that Khaleda Zia's release from jail is the one and only pre-condition which will have to be ensured if the government wants to hold the next general election in a free and fair manner," Fakhrul said at BNP’s demonstration in Dhaka this afternoon.
Claiming that the countrymen will not allow the government to undertake the upcoming general election with Khaleda Zia behind bars, Fakhrul said the government will have to resign and dissolve the parliament before the national election.
The Election Commission will have to be restructured and military will have to be deployed during the election, Fakhrul added, underscoring the need to forge a national unity in order to press for the demand.
Fakhrul was addressing a rally in front of the party's Nayapaltan central office, that was held for the first time in two and half years to raise demands for Khaleda Zia's release.
He welcomed the left lining political parties for forging an unity under the leadership of Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) and said all political parties from their respective positions will have to go for such unity.
While addressing the rally, BNP Standing Committee Member Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain termed the Awami League-led government as autocratic and said BNP along with the citizens will go for a mass upsurge to thwart the government.
"We will not allow the government to hold a partisan election like that of the January 5, 2014 election," Mosharraf warned.
Over a thousand leaders, activists and supporters joined in the rally of BNP, which was a rare show of the party’s strength ahead of the elections slated for the end of this year or the start of the next.