While the official position of the BNP is that it has yet to decide whether it will run in the 2023 national elections, its goal for this year is to complete the party reorganization process and prepare for the election.
The rationale for the reorganization is that the party wants to be in a stronger position with which it can pressure the government to hold elections under a non-partisan interim government, a demand it has been making since the abolition of the government. system 10 years ago. .
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The other headache of the BNP is that it has failed to free its president Khaleda Zia and send her abroad for better medical treatment. Khaleda has been in the capital’s Evercare hospital since November.
“Our main goal for the new year is to restore democracy. The process of reorganizing the party will continue and at the same time the movement for the restoration of democracy will continue,” said Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, general secretary of BNP, at the Daily Star.
Fakhrul stressed that the country’s main problem was that “democracy was destroyed” and that there was no way out but to restore the electoral system with polls under a non-partisan interim government.
Party insiders said they plan to mobilize public opinion and set the stage for a movement centered on the Election Commission. They said the movement would be launched at the end of this year.
In the meantime, the party is said to have an internal investigation to find possible runners for the next Sangsad.
“We will prepare for both the elections and the movement. We will only participate in the elections if they take place under a non-partisan interim government,” said Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury, member of the party’s standing committee.
Party leaders said if the government did not listen to them, the issue would be settled on the streets.
The BNP boycotted the January 5, 2014 elections, but then participated in the 2018 elections which were marred by ballot box stuffing.
The BNP only won a handful of seats in parliament.
Party leaders said participating in the polls under the current government would be nothing more than legitimizing the elections and the government.
They said a non-partisan interim government could be formed by consensus of political parties.
Prof Mahbubullah, a former pro-BNP professor at Dhaka University, said the party should devise a well-thought-out formula for a non-partisan interim government that would create a pleasant atmosphere for a fair ballot.
ââ¦ Elections under an interim government system are comparatively fairer and more well accepted than elections under partisan governments. Thus, the BNP should generate public opinion in favor of the formula it would design, âhe said.
As part of the party’s overhaul process, the BNP has already started to dissolve existing committees in many districts and form new ones. He plans to complete the process by June, party sources said.
The party is looking for new grassroots leaders, they said.
BNP leader Tabith Awal said the main goal for 2022 was to unite the people behind the demand for fair elections under a non-partisan government.
âWe have already started our activities to reach out to the people and other political parties as well as other stakeholders,â said Tabith, a former mayoral candidate with Dhaka North City Corporation.
Apart from this, the party is also strengthening its diplomatic wings to gain support from the international community.
Prof Mahbubullah said BNP should have a proper and well-thought out policy for its international relations as Bangladesh is very important geopolitically.
Tabith, who is one of the BNP leaders who looks after its diplomatic wing, said the population of Bangladesh in 2023 would be the fifth largest electoral population in the world.
âSo the world community will look at the vote in Bangladesh and the BNP will do whatever it takes to bring Bangladesh back to the path of democracy. We hope that the international community will provide all the help so that we can live up to this, “he added.