US, other Western countries keep mum on anti-polls activities: Quader

Awami League (AL) General Secretary Obaidul Quader on Wednesday said the United States (US) and other Western countries remain silent against those taking destructive programs to halt the 12th general elections in Bangladesh.

“Why are the Western countries, including the United States, and the so-called civil society of the country keep silent about those who are openly taking programs to disrupt the elections?” he said while speaking at a press conference at the AL President’s Dhanmondi political office in the capital Dhaka this afternoon.

Quader said no one is talking about punitive measures against them (BNP men) though they have been enforcing strikes, blockades, and carrying out sabotage to disrupt the polls.

“Are the programs BNP is taking a movement? It is to obstruct the elections. Sanctions should be imposed against those who are obstructing the elections. None is saying anything about the destructive acts going on. Civilized democratic countries talk on many issues but why are they silent here?” he asked.

The AL general secretary said those who talk about human rights, good governance, and free and fair elections in Bangladesh have remained silent about the misdeeds, and anti-democratic anti-constitutional activities of a party.

He also came down heavily on the so-called civil society as it does not raise voices against the destructive acts of the BNP.

Quader said BNP is enforcing the hartals and blockages to halt the next elections slated for January 7.

“We heard internationally that any activity that interferes with the polls should be considered as the anti-election act. Now everyone is silent. Nobody is saying anything. Europe doesn’t say anything, America doesn’t say anything too,” he said.

The AL general secretary said the hartal and blockade could not be covered up in any way. “How can police killing be covered up? The attack on the Chief Justice’s residence and setting fire to cars cannot be covered up in darkness? These are happening in public,” he said.

Quader said cases will be filed against those who are conducting misdeeds and punishable offenses. “You publicly killed a cop. Would not a case be filed against you? Will not you be sent to jail?”

About the next elections, he said there is a timeframe in the constitution about the general elections and the AL will never support any change in polls schedule that exceeds the time limit.

About seat sharing among allies, Quader said the AL will not nominate anyone just for being a member of the 14-party alliance unless he/she is a candidate who is capable of winning the polls.