Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said the BNP had an evil intention to make the December 30 general election questionable and it is still trying to do so.
She was addressing a civic reception accorded to her by expatriate Bangladeshis at Sheraton Munich Arabellapark Hotel here on Thursday.
The PM said the BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami had bagged only 28 seats in the 2008 general election. “There was no question about the acceptance of that election.”
Hasina, also the Awami League chief, criticised various remarks of the BNP-led Jatiya Oikyafront leaders over the last election, saying that they actually never tried to win it.
She said terrorism and mayhem unleashed by the BNP during their anti-government movement and nomination trade were the reasons behind its polls debacle.
In the December 30 election, the PM said, people from all sections cast votes for the AL. “Even businessmen had expressed their support for us unlike in the past.”
She said BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia was convicted of embezzling orphans' funds while Tarique Rahman was convicted in 10-truck arms and grenade attack cases. “So, the big question is why the people would cast votes for them?”
Hasina said the BNP allowed many Jamaat leaders to contest the election with “sheaf of paddy”, the electoral symbol of the BNP. “It was also a major reason for losing public support.”
She said the BNP couldn't make it clear to people who would be its PM if the party was voted to power.
Regarding the cases filed by the BNP and Jatiya Oikyafront over the election issue, she said they could file cases with the election tribunal as per election law. “Awami League has no objection to it.”
Hasina expressed her gratitude to the expatriates for their dedicated service to brighten Bangladesh's positive image abroad.
She also urged the expatriates to invest in special economic zones in Bangladesh, saying that there were special facilities for them.
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen, All European AL President Anil Dasgupta and President of the UK AL Sultan Mahmud Sharif also spoke on the occasion.
DHAKA TO SUPPORT ICC
Welcoming the decision of the International Criminal Court to send a team to Bangladesh for “preliminary examination” of the atrocities on Rohingyas by the Myanmar Army, Hasina yesterday assured the ICC of extending all support in this regard.
“The ICC team is scheduled to visit Bangladesh next month,” Foreign Secretary Md Shahidul Haque said while briefing reporters after a meeting between the PM and ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatu Bensouda.
He said the PM and the ICC chief prosecutor discussed the issues on the trial of genocide of Pakistan Army in Bangladesh in 1971 and atrocities on Rohingya nationals of Myanmar.
Hasina stressed the need for bringing the perpetrators of the 1971 genocide to book.
About the trial of the atrocities on Rohingyas, Fatu Bensouda said the ICC has already brought the Rohingya issue under its jurisdiction and established a court for trial of the perpetrators.
Earlier, Executive Director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons Novel laureate Beatrice Fihn called on Hasina on the sidelines of Munich Security Conference.
She thanked the PM for Bangladesh's strong position on the nuclear abolition issue and appreciated Bangladesh for its constant efforts to make South Asia a nuclear-free zone.