DHAKA, Jan 26, 2023 (BSS) - Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said the government is taking all kinds of preparations to hold the country's next general election in a free and fair manner.
"The next election will be held in a free and fair manner, and we are taking all kinds of preparations," she said while outgoing Switzerland Ambassador Nathalie Chuard called on her at her Sangsad Bhaban office.
Prime Minister's Speechwriter Md Nazrul Islam briefed the reporters after the meeting.
The Prime Minister said that after enacting Election Commission Law, the government has formed the neutral election commission through a search committee.
She added, "The foreign observes will come to oversee the election and they will do their job freely."
Sheikh Hasina said the Election Commission of the country is totally independent and the government has no control over it and its budget.
Sheikh Hasina, also the president of the ruling Awami League, said that Awami League (AL) is the major political party of Bangladesh, which has its base up to the grassroots level.
She said, "This political party (AL) took birth from the mass people."
The Prime Minister said that BNP and Jatiya Party took birth from the cantonment. Chives of these two parties first became president by illegally grabbing the state power, later they formed their political parties, she added.
"They don't have any base among the mass people," she said.
Regarding Jamaat-e-Islami, she said that they were involved in crimes against humanity during the Liberation War of the country in 1971. "They also don't have any base among the mass people," she said.
She said that if the people vote for the AL in the next election, it will form the government.
Sheikh Hasina said that the government has upgraded the country massively in the last 14 years.
"It was possible as the people cast their votes in the 2008 election for AL and its alliance at two-thirds majority," she said.
The Premier said that AL always believes in the power of people and works for the flourishing of democracy.
Regarding the Rohingya issue, she said that the issue of over one million Myanmar nationals is a burden for Bangladesh. She urged all western countries to extend their support to ensure their return to their homeland Myanmar.
She also said that the negative impact occurred on the economy of the whole world due to the COVID-19 and Russia-Ukraine War.
She said that these two elements - Covid and Ukraine-Russia war - forced the developing countries, including Bangladesh into hardship.
"We are trying to offset this impact," she added.
She questioned who are gaining from this war, only the arms sellers are making a profit. "The world should stop this war at once," she said.
The Prime Minister also apprised the envoy of women's empowerment in the country.
Switzerland ambassador Nathalie Chuard said that Bangladesh is graduating to a developing country from the least developed one and her country will continue to support Bangladesh in the smooth transition.
"I will always remain as the well-wisher of Bangladesh," she said.
She said that she visited every corner of the country and she was impressed to witness the remarkable and impressive development of the country.
Nathalie Chuard said that Bangladesh has to face some challenges including the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia-Ukraine War and climate change.
"I am hoping that Bangladesh will be able to advance further facing all these challenges," she said.
She appreciated the quality of democracy, its stability and good relations with neighbouring countries.
She also highly appreciated the women empowerment progress of the country.
Regarding the Rohingya issue, she thinks that they should go back to their homeland quickly.
Ambassador-at-large Mohammad Ziauddin and Prime Minister's Principal Secretary M Tofazzel Hossain Miah were present.