Saturday, September 23, 2017

Awami League mentions Zia to shift focus from 16th amendment verdict, says BNP's Fakhrul

  • Senior Correspondent, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2017-08-19 18:21:54 BdST

bdnews24

The Awami League has deliberately mentioned BNP founder Ziaur Rahman's regime to shift the focus from the top court's verdict on the 16th constitutional amendment, BNP Secretary Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir has said.

He made the claim following Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader’s recent remarks that criticised BNP for praising the verdict and the chief justice's observation on it.

The Appellate Division published the full verdict on the amendment on Aug 1. Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha's observation on Bangladesh's politics, past dictatorships, Election Commission, corruption, governance and judiciary in the verdict has sparked sharp reactions.

The government, which had passed the 16th constitutional amendment in 2014, announced that it would get 'some unacceptable parts' erased from the verdict.

The decision to take away parliament's power to sack judges over misconduct and incapacity has, however, been hailed as historic by the BNP.

"The verdict also mentions how Ziaur Rahman abused power; it seems that BNP has accepted that part too," Quader said on Friday.

To this, Fakhrul said: "In that case, the governance of Awami League also turns illegal as they got registered as a political party when Ziaur Rahman was in power."

"This is the same old tactic that Awami League follows -- to divert people's attention from the actual subject," he told reporters after visiting Zia’s grave to pay tributes on Saturday.

“We have spoken about the verdict; how it has detailed current political practices."

He also alleged that the ruling party was mounting pressure on the judiciary to change the verdict.

Jatiyatabadi Swechhasebak Dal, a front organisation of the BNP, observed its 37th founding anniversary on Saturday.

When asked to comment on the dialogue due with the Election Commission, the BNP leader said: "The chief election commissioner has said he will hear only and not hold talks. So it cannot be called a dialogue.”

"He (CEC) will listen and then make the decisions. We have said time and again that he is not neutral and thus cannot hold a fair election."

He also came down hard on Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda for his remark that it was not the responsibility of the Election Commission to make the political parties contest the election. 

“It is their responsibility indeed. Newspaper editors, civil society leaders, experts and political parties have observed that the commission has failed to perform its duties," Fakhrul said.

He also alleged that the government was not doing enough to provide relief to flood victims.