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Bangladesh - November 14, 2023

BNPS places 31-point proposals ahead of general polls

Staff Correspondent:

Bangladesh Nari Progati Sangha (BNPS) has put forward 31-point proposals to create a level playing field for all citizens ahead of the 12th Parliamentary elections.

Executive Director of BNPS freedom fighter Rokeya Kabir placed the proposals at a press conference held at the headquarters of the organisation at Babar Road in the city Monday.

She said if the Election Commission, political parties, media, and civil society take necessary measures to implement the recommendations, a level playing field for all and fear-free festive atmosphere will be ensured for all citizens in the ensuing elections.

BNPS Director Shahnaz Sumi gave a written statement at the press conference.

In the welcome speech, Rokeya Kabir said that even though the Election Commission held a dialogue with different political parties and citizens of different classes and professions, they didn’t invite the women community, half of the population for discussion.

She said the BNPS has already given a memorandum to the Chief Election Commission highlighting many recommendations. With implementation of the proposals, all citizens regardless of caste-religion-caste-gender will be able to freely elect the true servants of the people through the exercise of voting rights, she said.

In 9-point proposals to the Election Commission, the BNSP called for taking necessary and effective measures to keep the law and order situation normal in the whole country in view of the elections.

“An enabling environment must be created to ensure women, the poor, and citizens belonging to ethnic and religious minorities participate and vote in elections. The security of the people should be ensured by setting up special camps in areas where there is a risk of sneak attack and sabotage by religious extremists and militant groups,” said Rokeya Kabir, adding that effective measures should be taken to stop the use of religion in election campaigns.

The BNPS placed 12-point proposals for the political parties to include them in their election manifestos. The proposals include ensuring equal rights of men and women in inheritance are guaranteed, changing discriminatory laws against women, taking a national action plan on women implementing peace and security, and effective initiatives to reduce income inequality towards women. The BNPS also for the inclusion of 33 percent of women in all levels of party committees is ensured and a significant number of women are included in the national parliament.

The 4-point proposal presented for the media says that any party or candidate or their supporters during the pre-election, election period, and post-election period of any torture, intimidation, or pressure on women, minorities, and poor people should be immediately disclosed in the media. In the case of campaigning against any candidate by inciting the religious feelings of the citizens or soliciting votes in favour of any candidate and making any statement against women’s rights and the constitution, it must be publicized with evidence. All election-related reports should show gender-wise figures of men and women.

In addition, 6-point proposals were placed to the civil society. The proposals include taking measures for ‘Voter Education’, and exercising voting rights consciously without being influenced by any financial transactions or intimidation.

The proposals also encourage others not to cast their votes and exclude as candidates those who are against the constitution and equal rights of women and minorities, oppressors of women, debt defaulters, tax evaders, godfathers of terrorist forces, and war criminals.

Replying to a question she said the BNSP is concerned over the prevailing political situation and urged all concerned to take necessary measures to resolve the political stalemate before the elections.

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