Awami League is not worried about voter turnout in polls: Obaidul Quader

Awami League (AL) general secretary Obaidul Quader on Monday said the AL is not concerned about the voter presence in the upcoming 12th general elections.

“The voters will resist those who will come to obstruct the elections,” he told a press conference at AL president Sheikh Hasina’s political office in the city’s Dhanmondi this afternoon.

Quader, also road transport and bridges minister, said the voters cannot be prevented from coming to polling stations through sabotage and foreign friends have also understood that peaceful atmosphere of the election is prevailing in Bangladesh now. “We are not worried about the voter turnout in the elections,” the AL general secretary said.

Quader  said no significant incident of conflict or violence among candidates took place anywhere in the country centering the polls.

All the incidents of sabotage happening in the country are being carried out by BNP and its allies, the AL general secretary said, adding that the acts of sabotage will be defeated and people power will triumph.

He said BNP is boycotting the upcoming elections after taking decision, while they (BNP) are not coming to elections willingly.

“Why do you force them to participate in the election? And the Awami League is joining the polls following the constitution,” he added.

Quader said the AL will not take any side if the AL’s candidates, whose nominations were canceled, do not get approval to vie elections after appeal before the Election Commission (EC).

The elected AL government is committed to handing over the power to another elected government, he said. About seat sharing with 14-party allies, the AL general secretary said the AL has no objection to nominate those who are eligible to win the elections even if they are members of the alliance.

Responding to a question whether there is any concern of conflict around the BNP’s December 10 rally, he said: “BNP held rallies in Dhaka in the last several months. We have held rallies too. You (journalists) wrote reports terming those counter-rallies. There was no conflict between one party and another. They held road march, while the AL held peace rallies.”

The December 10 is the World Human Rights Day and the AL has applied to the EC for permission to hold a rally on this day, Quader said, adding that there is no issue of counter rallies.

“The World Human Rights Day will be observed on that day and it is our democratic right,” he said.

AL presidium member Jahangir Kabir Nanak, and organising secretaries BM Mozammel Haque, Mirza Azam and Sujit Roy Nandi were present at the press conference.

Earlier, Quader attended the janaza of Sajedul Hossain Chowdhury, elder son of AL presidium member Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya Bir Bikram, in front of the AL central office at Bangabandhu Avenue here.

Leaders of the Awami League and its affiliated organisations were present. Later, they paid tributes to the late Dipu Chowdhury’s coffin.

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