US urged three more parties to participate in polls

Published at : 13 May 2024, 11:30 am
US urged three more parties to participate in polls

The United States advised the BNP and some other like-minded parties to to participate in the 12th National Assembly. However, the Khaborer Kagoj came to know about the three groups. They are Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, known as BNP's political allies, the Amar Bangladesh (AB) Party, and Gana Odhikar Parishad.

The political programs of the parties are implemented in tandem with the BNP. Consequently, the parties that were referred to as the political allies of the BNP ultimately decided not to participate in the elections.

According to reliable sources, representatives of some Western countries, including the United States, have met several times with those three parties and discussed about the election situation before the January 7 election. They also said that they would think about sanctions or bans later if they participated in the elections at that time.

There are examples of the US imposing bans on Cambodia, Nicaragua, and several other countries on allegations of rigging. Although there was extensive discussion in the political arena before the elections in Bangladesh, in the end, no action was taken to impose bans on the part of the United States. There is frustration about this among the boycotting parties.

When asked whether the United States asked Jamaat-e-Islami to join in the elections, Dr. Syed Abdullah Mohammad Taher, Nayeb-e Amir of Jamaat-e-Islami, told the Khaborer Kagoj, "I am aware of such messages. When there is a meeting, there is a conversation. All things are not public." However, this leader of Jamaat-e-Islami did not agree to reveal himself more while talking to this reporter.

"It seems to us that the United States indirectly wanted us all to participate in the polls, and after the polls, they will implement various types of sanctions and restrictions. What will be the use of sanctions or restrictions after the election? The US bans have not had much effect after elections in other countries," Mujibur Rahman Manju, member secretary of the AB Party, told the Khaborer Kagoj.

"The issue of not registering our party unfairly and objecting to participation in the elections was discussed with diplomats of various countries, including the United States. They wanted to know what would happen if all of us, including the BNP, participated in the election. We brought to them the experience of unprecedented terrorism and vote robbery the night before the election in 2018 for a whole month before the elections," added Mujibur Rahman Manju.

When asked regarding the role of foreigners in going to elections Nurul Haque Nur, former VP and President of Gana Odhikar Parishad, said, "It was not easy for the government to conduct one-sided elections. Therefore, the government also tried to bring the opposition to the elections by negotiating with some Western countries, including the United States. Especially after October 28, due to the weakness of the movement of opposition parties, some Western countries wanted the opposition parties to participate in the elections."

"And if the election was rigged, it would have created a way to put pressure on the government along with bans." But we, the opposition, have failed in the strategy of the movement and the strategy of the election. However, we will not take responsibility for this failure. Because we were not in decision-making," he added.

"The international community was divided over the last national elections in Bangladesh. On one side, the West, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union, have been constantly pressuring the government for a free, fair, and participatory election. On the other hand, India, Russia, and China supported the holding of unilateral elections on behalf of the government. However, it was not easy to ignore Western pressure and choose a unilateral election. So the government and the Western countries tried to bring the opposition to the elections," VP Nur concluded.

It is known from talking with the BNP's allies and several other parties that although the United States advised some parties, including the BNP, to participate in the polls, India has not interacted much with other parties. That country gave more importance to the BNP. The international community, including India and the United States, felt that if the BNP had participated, its allies would also have participated in the elections.

The United States and the United Kingdom responded after the election that the January 7 elections in Bangladesh were not held in accordance with the criteria of "free and fair" elections. Apart from this, the United Nations did not support the election and said, "The atmosphere of the election in Bangladesh on January 7 was damaged by violence and repression of opposition candidates and supporters." However, the government called the statement of the United Nations "biased.".