The Bangladesh Democracy Forum (BDF), supporters of a United Nations regulated election in Bangladesh, have launched a petition urging supporters to demand the United Nations and European Union intervene and oversee new political elections in the country.
The BDF, comprised of democracy loving people of Bangladesh, Bangladeshi expatriates, non-resident Bangladeshis and other interested stakeholders are urging involvement as the country is in the midst of political unrest since 5th January, 2014’s unilateral election that saw over half of the government’s 300 seats go uncontested.
“The present government has not been elected by direct votes of the majority population, as such, it lacks due popular mandate to govern the country. The international community also has not recognized this unilateral election and boycotted sending their observers. The victims of this travesty are the innocent people of Bangladesh. Many have already lost their lives through extrajudicial killings and attacks by rival groups. We people interested in freedom and democracy for the people of Bangladesh to sign the petition and to share this message,” said BDF Chairman and campaign convener Faruk Ahmed.
“As mounting pressure for holding a fresh parliamentary election in Bangladesh continues to grow, so does the number of people who have lost their lives, faced imprisonment and torture. The crisis began right before the January 5 anniversary of the last election that saw the Bangladesh National Party boycott the 2014 elections in protest to the Awami League’s refusal to allow a non-partisan and neutral caretaker government to oversee the election – which had been standard operating procedure in every election held since 1996. The result was – a pro-Awami League one-sided victory without people’s mandate.” said Mr. Ahmed
Mr. Ahmed stressed, “The government’s effort in depicting the crisis as criminal activities of the opposition alliance is not helping, as the root cause of this violence is a pure political issue which must be addressed. Though the Awami League led government is not a true representative of the majority population of Bangladesh, it is determined to stick to power by any means and has undertaken a heavy-handed approach to suppress the opposition voice and the media. Over 70 people have been killed, hundreds got wounded, few hundred thousands were sued and thousands have been prisoned since 5 January 2015 because of protesting against this undemocratic rule. The opposition has called for a continuous cease and strike programs demanding immediate resignation of the government. The opposition leader Ex Prime Minister Khaleda Zia is confined in her office since 5 January 2015 and her telephone and internet communication has been cut off where many of opposition senior leaders have been arrested. Based on the current situation, it is clear that there is an absence of a democratic government and human rights are being seriously violated where citizens are being killed almost everyday. We need due action by the international community and support from democracy loving people living around the world. It is only the UN supervised election that can bring peace and stability to Bangladesh.”
He also added, “Country’s economy is hit hard as hundreds of buses, trucks, trains and steamers have been burnt, readymade garments industries are on the verge of collapse due to transport strikes, seriously affecting the exports in time.”
Supporters of this campaign wanting to get involved can view and sign the petition at change.org.