PM invites UN team to observe next poll

Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha . New York

The prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, has expressed her firm resolve to hold the next general election under the existing constitutional framework saying she has requested UN secretary general to send a team to observe the next election in Bangladesh.
Addressing a crowded press conference at Bangladesh’s UN permanent mission office in New York on Saturday, the prime minister said, ‘Today I have requested Ban Ki-moon to send a observer team to see the fairness of the next election,’
Sheikh Hasina, who is now attending the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly, said there would have no political crisis over the next election if BNP discard its alliance with anti-liberation forces and opted for a free and fair election.
The prime minister said she is ready to make any sacrifice for the cause of the nation. If BNP wants election they should submit the proposal in the parliament about the poll-time government, she said.
She noted that transfer of power in Bangladesh was never held in a peaceful manner except in 2001 when Awami League was in power. Elections were free and fair only during 1996-2001 period when Awami League was in office, she said.
Sheikh Hasina said Ban Ki-moon has appreciated our success in achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Bangladesh is one of the few countries, which showed its efficacy in achieving the MDGs, she said quoting the UN secretary general.
The prime minister informed the secretary general about her government’s relentless efforts for socio-economic development of the country as well as consolidating the democratic process.
‘We want to put in place a system where the election will be held in a free, fair and neutral manner and power will also be handed over peacefully,’ she said adding, ‘We have to begin the process of upholding the democratic transition from a certain stage’.
She said, ‘People of Bangladesh had to suffer colossally during all elections over the last 38 years. The anti-democratic force made the election a farce by capturing booth, spreading money and employing hooligans to loot the voting rights of the people, she said.
In different forms like military coup, caretaker government and army in civil administration, they tried to disrupt the election procedure.
Terming her New York visit very fruitful, the prime minister said, like the last three years, she has taken part in a number of high level meetings this year and presented keynote papers and acted as co-chair.
The award given by IOSSC to Bangladesh is a great recognition for the success of the people of Bangladesh in poverty alleviation, she added.
She said her government is making efforts to create an opportunity so that people can fulfill their basic rights as per constitution. The government has attached top priority to education as a tool for stamping out poverty, she added.
The prime minister apprised the UN secretary general of her government’s relentless efforts for socio-economic development of the country as well as consolidating the democratic process.
She said her government has established the voting rights of the people so that country’s power is transferred through a constitutional and democratic process.
In this regard, she called upon the people of the country to franchise voting rights keeping in mind the future of the nation.
Sheikh Hasina said her government amended the constitution to stop the culture of illegal state power capturing in the name of martial law, emergency and military backed government system.
The prime minister, in her speech, described her participation in the 68th session of the UNGA and a number of high-level talks on various issues on the sidelines of the UNGA debate as very fruitful.
She said Bangladesh had a very active participation in those programmes and world leaders including UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon highly appreciated the Bangladesh’s role in different forums.
Referring to her call for declaring Bangla as an official language of the world body, the prime minister firmly said that her stride would certainly be successful if her party can come to power again in the next election.
Replying to a question, the prime minister told the press conference that she called upon the leader of the opposition for dialogue on the issue of holding the next general election.
Awami League decided to discuss the adjourned motion of the BNP which they placed in the Jatiya Sangsad on poll time government. But, the BNP leader later withdrew it with an ill motive, she said.
In this regard, she reiterated her call to the leader of opposition to place their proposal in the parliament and let the countrymen to know what they actually wants.
Criticising some civil society members, she said they always try to provoke people talking about political crisis. But, those civil society members in their service life proved their unworthiness to serve people and resolve civic problems efficiently, she said.
About the early execution of the verdict against the war criminals, Sheikh Hasina said, the government cannot interfere in the court functions. However, the verdict would be executed one day as it’s a demand of the people, she hoped.
Foreign minister Dipu Moni and permanent representative of Bangladesh to the UN AK Abdul Momen were, among others, present.

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