September 15, 2023
DHAKA – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today told parliament that all the elections held during the Awami League’s tenure, including by-polls and local body elections, were transparent and peaceful.
“When were more peaceful elections held in Bangladesh?” Hasina said in her winding-up speech of the 24th session of parliament.
“When we are holding elections in a fair way, why questions are being raised about the election? What does it mean? Why are questions raised about the election when Bangladesh is marching forward, in terms of economic progress?” she said.
Hasina said that if the people vote for her party in the next election, they will stay in the treasury bench of the parliament and, if not, they will sit on the opposition bench.
“Election will be held soon. If the people vote for us, we will come here again [treasury bench]. Otherwise, we will go to the other side [the opposition bench]. No problem. We’re leaving it to the people to decide. It is up to the people,” Hasina said.
“But all will have to remain alert so that this progress won’t be hampered,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said her government has been taking the country forward amid the global economic repression and inflation.
“I want the country’s progress to continue. It is my call to the people of the country,” she said, adding, “The people of Bangladesh won’t bow down to any conspiracy and didn’t do so.”
Hasina, also president of ruling Awami League, criticised the foreign countries that are now vocal on the election issue of Bangladesh.
She questioned their spirit during the faulty elections in Bangladesh, including presidential election in 1977, parliamentary elections in 1979, 1981, 1986, and on February 15, 1996.
PM said the inflation has increased. Some are definitely suffering due to it, but there is no shortage of necessary items and production.
“When you go to the market, there is no shortage of things. It seems that the price is artificially increased, deliberately increased. Sometimes some people play such games by keeping things in warehouse. It comes down if the government takes action,” she added.
Hasina highlighted the measures taken by the government to resolve the dollar crisis.
She said that steps have been taken to keep the dollar exchange rate flexible.
The prime minister said that the government is closely monitoring the dollar trading in the open market.
She also mentioned that LC cannot be opened at will at present.
“LC is now opened only after verification,” she added.
Hasina said she is using money from the federal reserve for the import of daily commodities so that the people of the country do not suffer.
“Reserve means three months’ worth of imports. It does not need more than that,” she added.
The 24th session of the 11th Parliament was prorogued yesterday after nine working days.