BNP, Jatiya Oikya Prakriya and Juktafront on Saturday launched new alliance Jatiya Oikya Front announcing 11-point objectives and 7-point demands, including resignation of the government, dissolution of parliament and formation of polls-time neutral government through discussion with all political parties.
Juktafront chairman Badruddoza Chowdhury and his party Bikalpadhara Bangladesh, however, withdrew from the new alliance led by Gana Forum president Dr Kamal Hossain, at the eleventh hour.
The Jatiya Oikya Front was launched at a press conference at the National Press Club with 11-point objectives, including establishment of an exploitation-free just and welfare state based on the spirits of the Liberation War and rule of law, and abolition of person-centric governance ensuring balance of powers between president, prime minister, parliament and government.
Bikalpadhara president AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury at a separate news conference at his Baridhara house said that his party was not in the Jatiya Oikya Front as its two conditions were not met.
He said the conditions were no unity with ‘anti-liberation forces’ and limiting nominations for not more than 150 of the 300 parliamentary constituencies from a party so that no party could get absolute majority in parliament.
The Jatiya Oikya Front at its press conference, however, called on Bikalpadhara and all progressive parties, forces and individuals to join the alliance.
Juktafront leader Mahmudur Rahman Manna, also the Nagarik Oikya convener, at the press conference read out the declaration of the Jatiya Oikya Front.
The 7-point demands include release of the jailed Bangladesh Nationalist Party chairperson Khaleda Zia and all political prisoners, withdrawal of ‘false’ cases, reconstitution of the Election Commission, no use of electronic voting machines in the next general elections, deployment of army with magistracy during elections until formation of the new elected governemnt, empowerment of the Election Commission to deploy and control law enforcers during elections, suspension of all proceedings in political cases and filing of new political cases after the announcement of the polls schedule, deployment of national and international election observers without restrictions and no restriction on press and media people during elections.
The demands also include establishment of freedom of expression, press, media, social media and assembly, personal liberty and a level playing field in the elections, withdrawal of cases filed against students, journalists and protesters for the student protests for road safety and reform of quota system in public service recruitment, release of people arrested in those cases and repeal of all repressive laws including the Digital Security Act
The 11-point objectives include decentralisation of the administration, appointment of the ombudsman, amendment to the constitution including Article 70 on floor crossing, establishment of Constitutional Commission and Constitutional Court to ensure appointment of honest, non-partisan and competent people to the constitutional offices and empowerment of people, formation of Supreme Judicial Council and formulation of rules on the appointment of Supreme Court judges to ensure independence of judiciary and reform of the Anti-Corruption Commission to curb corruption in public and private sectors.
The objectives also include creation of employments ensuring environment conducive to investment, reform of quota system, ensuring good governance and security for all people, establishment of the fundamental rights, ensuring education, healthcare, housing and nutrition for the poor, peasants and workers, empowerment of women, ensuring social security, narrowing the inequality, forging national unity against extremism, establishment of foreign policy of ‘friendship with all, enmity with none’, extending support to the just rights and struggles of oppressed people across the globe, repatriation of Rohingyas and strengthening the armed forces to ensure sovereignty of the state.
Kamal Hossain said, ‘We have formed the alliance which would fulfil the aspirations of the most of the people of the country. We shall wage united movements for restoration of democracy and the voting rights of the people in the country.’
He said, ‘We want free, fair, inclusive and credible national elections.’
According to constitution, the people are the owners of the country and the Jatiya Oikya Front wants to establish the rights of the people, Kamal said.
BNP secretary general, Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said that the Awami League-led government seized all rights, including the voting rights, of the people.
‘We want to restore the voting rights of the people and an exploitation-free democratic society,’ Fakhrul added.
Juktafront leader Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal faction president ASM Abdur Rob said that the newly formed combine would establish the spirits of the Liberation War.
The central leaders would go door to door of the people soliciting their supports to the movements of the combine and it would hold rallies in Chattagram and Sylhet soon, Rob said.
BNP standing committee members Moudud Ahmed, Mosharraf Hossain, civil society members Zafrullah Chowdhury, Mainul Hosein and Gana Forum general secretary Mostafa Mohsin Montu also spoke at the programme.
Gana Forum, executive president Subrata Chowdhury, Oikya Prakria member secretary ABM Mostafa Amin, JSD faction general secretary Abdul Malek Ratan, BNP central leader Fazlur Rahman, among others, attended the programme, conducted by former Dhaka University Central Students Union vice-president Sultan Mohammad Monsur Ahmed.
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