Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said no one should raise any concern about the election being free and fair under the Awami League (AL) government following the recent by-elections in six parliamentary seats and Rangpur City Corporation.
"These have proved that fair elections are held during the Awami League period," she added. The Prime Minister said this while participating in the discussion on the thanksgiving motion on President's speech in the Jatiya Sangsad, the parliament of the country.
She added that six by-elections were held just a few days ago where Jatiya Party won in one seat. She mentioned that in another seat, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) MP, who resigned from the parliament returned as an independent candidate.
"Moreover, we left one to Rashed Khan Menon's party where the Jatiya Party candidate won. Another was given to Hasanul Haque Inu's party and it won in Bogra," Hasina said.
She added that AL candidate won only in Bogra and Chapainawabganj. "No one could complain about Rangpur Mayor election. But Jatiya Party won that election, Awami League lost."
Therefore, she said: "We have been able to prove that the election has been fair, free and impartial during the Awami League government." "I hope no one gets a chance to raise anything about the election after this (by-elections and Mayor election)."
She mentioned that AL always has fought for people's right to vote. "I think it is our responsibility to ensure the right to vote." Prime Minister Hasina said that the government has built the Padma Bridge with its own funding, which was a challenging job.
"This one decision has changed the image of Bangladesh internationally. Those who earlier thought that Bangladesh will never be able to stand up proved wrong.
Those who seized power after 1975 tragedy (assassination of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman) had wanted that," she added.
Hasina said that the international status of Bangladesh has increased as the country has proved that it can. She added that digital services are being launched in all areas and now the documents of land can be taken at home while any bill can be paid from home.
She said that the government is working for the overall development of the people of the country. The premier recalled the election during Ziaur Rahman's tenure. The people had seen how the presidential election of 1981 was rigged, she added.
She also said that during his time General Ershad (founder of Jatiya Patty) changed the election results by withholding the counting for 48 hours. "She recalled that no party could form the government in the 1991 elections on its own and so BNP joined hands with Jamaat to form the government.
And they held a election without participation of voters on February 15, 1996. People don't let go if votes are stolen. Khaleda Zia had to resign on March 30."
The Prime Minister said that there was a conspiracy in 2001 regarding the sale of country's gas. She added that Bangladesh is sending medical teams, medicines, dry food to help the earthquake victims in Turkey and Syria.