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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Next election as per Constitution: Hasina

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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday addressed the nation on completion of the fourth year of her second consecutive term in office, saying the incumbent government would go ahead evaluating its success and failure of the past. "We do not want to cling to the past, but would not forget it either. We will move forward by evaluating the successes and failures of the past and correcting the mistakes and faults," she said in her televised address yesterday evening.

The premier said the country now was set on the track of the development highway when there was no scope for looking back and expected the present and future generation to take the responsibility for clearing all obstacles to the way of prosperity and progress.

Sheikh Hasina urged the people to take the right decision in coming days remembering what the country's position was ten years ago. She expressed her firm conviction that all registered political parties would take part in the next general election to help uphold the country's democratic process and noted that the election commission by now earned people's confidence.

"The Honorable president constituted the new Election Commission through a search committee. This commission has by now conducted several local body elections including two city corporation polls," the premier said. But she simultaneously warned people against a possible conspiracy to foil the next election saying a vested group might try to create a chaotic situation ahead of the polls and "so, people should remain careful".

The premier said in line with the constitution the next election was set to be held at the end of 2018 and ahead of the polls an election time government will be formed and "that government will provide all assistance to the election commission". "People want peace. They will no longer accept any move for elections boycott and destruction of public property in the name of movement," she said.

In her 26-minute address the premier sought national unity for future Bangladesh saying "Let all irrespective of party and opinions join hands to build a developed, happy and prosperous Bangladesh unitedly for the future generation". Sheikh Hasina reiterated her  determination to build Bangladesh as a middle income country by 2021 and a developed and prosperous one by 2041.

"We are not sitting idle with only our goal. We have formulated necessary plan and is implementing those plans to achieve the cherished goal," she said. The premier said 47 years elapsed since the independence and now "we want to live as a dignified nation keeping our head high in the world community". "If it is your expectation, we will always remain aside you," she said.

Sheikh Hasina said with people's mandate she assumed office thrice and tried heart and soul to protect the dignity of their mandate and expected the people to evaluate her government's success or failure. She said Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman liberated the country to implement an ideology and spirit aimed at giving the people rid of hunger and poverty while "my determination is to implement Bangabandhu's aspiration".

The premier said an orchestrated plot debarred Awami League's return power in 2001 but after that election people saw a reign of political rouges to mark the subsequent years with unbridled corruption, plundering of public money, emergence of terrorism and indiscriminate political killings.

Sheikh Hasina said for seven years Bangladesh suffered as BNP and their cohorts were installed to power while after assuming office with peoples mandate in 2009 polls her government continued to make sincere efforts for overall national.

She, however said counting from the time of Bangabandhu's 1975 assassination, Bangladesh was virtually deprived of development for 28 years as the subsequent rulers did nothing for public welfare other than making their own fortune.

"Now all development plans in the country are being implemented with specific plans for achieving specific goals," the premier said. But, she said BNP-Jamaat alliance created an unprecedented political mayhem during 2013-2015 killing some 500 people, wounding several thousand others, burning down 3,500 transports, 29 railway bogies and nine lunches and 76 government offices.

"Even they set mosques ablaze and burnt hundreds of copies of holy Quran. Even roadside trees and domestic animals could not escape their wrath," she said. The premier said her party's 2014 election victory helped Bangladesh to be on the development track for nine consecutive years while its economic growth was spurring in full swing defying the global economic recession.

She said compared to GDP size of about Taka 4.84 crore during the BNP regime in 2006, the figure now stood at over 19.75 crore as the growth rate grew to 7.2 percent from 5.2 at that time. The premier said Bangladesh was now being looked at with appreciation by international community as its per capita income rose to US$ 1,610 which was only $543 in 2005, reducing the poverty rate to 22 percent from 41 percent during the period.

The government, she said, undertook a plan to set up 100 special economic zones in the country to create employment opportunities adding none would remain jobless or starve in future once the economic zones were established. The premier simultaneously highlighted the government's success in combating militancy and terrorism and appreciated the performance of the law enforcing agencies in maintaining order.

-AA News Desk

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