Date: 14 September 2023
Message from BNP Acting Chairman Tarique Rahman on International Day of Democracy
“On this International Day of Democracy, we stand with nations worldwide to cherish the ideals of representative governance, human rights, and the rule of law. Let’s steadfastly ensure every voice is heard, every vote counts, and the people’s will prevails in our beloved Bangladesh.
Our leaders, President Ziaur Rahman and Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, successively reinstated multi-party democracy and parliamentary democracy in Bangladesh, built upon the principles of equality, dignity, freedom, and justice. Nevertheless, the struggle for democracy in Bangladesh persists today, as the fascist regime led by Sheikh Hasina clings to power without an electoral mandate.
In stark contrast to this year’s theme of ‘Empowering the Next Generation,’ young citizens in Bangladesh are facing the deprivation of their fundamental right to vote. In both the 2014 and 2018 national elections, hundreds of millions of voters were unable to exercise their voting rights, including a staggering 38 million voters aged 18-33 who have yet to participate in any election in their lives.
Consequently, the next generation of Bangladesh is maturing without access to democratic rights, trapped in an environment of fear and intimidation that severely hampers their freedom, creativity, and prospects for a better future.
We, Bangladesh Nationalist Party-BNP, underscore our duty to protect the nation's spirit, uphold human rights, and promote fundamental freedoms. We resolve to nurture a safe, progressive, and democratic society that transcends borders.
We are resolute in our pledge to support judicial autonomy, champion credible and participatory elections, and strengthen the core principles of our precious democracy, ensuring its enduring legacy for future generations. Together, we unite to restore democracy and establish an inclusive political atmosphere in Bangladesh.”
(Advocate Ruhul Kabir Rizvi)
Senior Joint Secretary
Bangladesh Nationalist Party-BNP