Prime Minister and Awami League president Sheikh Hasina on Monday said the opposition was in a state of wilderness that caused their debacle in the Sunday’s elections while she would discharge her responsibility as the “premier of all” during her upcoming five-year tenure.
“It was a credible and transparent election . . . but (opposition) BNP’s debacle in the polls was caused by their own faults and weakness,” she said in an interaction with foreign journalists at her official Ganobhaban residence which was joined as well by overseas poll observers, BSS reports.
Sheikh Hasina indentified BNP’s leadership vacuum as their prime weakness as the party chairperson Khaleda Zia was serving a prison term on graft charges while acting BNP chief “fugitive” Tarique Rahman was staying abroad to evade a life term imprisonment for masterminding the deadly 2004 grenade attack.
“The people did not know who the opposition leader was . . . though prominent lawyer Dr Kamal Hossain heads the opposition Jatiya Oikya Front (JOF)” with BNP being its key partner, Sheikh Hasina said.
Moreover, she said, the opposition fielded four to five candidates in every constituency in exchange of money, exposing the people to a state of confusion about the actual BNP candidate while many of them were unknown to ordinary voters.
The premier, however, said her Awami League-led Grand Alliance largely won the polls in view of the benefit her government could offer them for the past 10 years, cutting down the poverty rate, improving their financial condition and enhancing the GDP.
“They (people) wanted continuity of the government, development for which they overwhelmingly’ voted for us,” Sheikh Hasina said.