Dhaka – Bangladesh Nationalist Party chief Khaleda Zia has demanded deployment of army troopers with magistracy power during the next parliamentary elections due by end of 2018.
Khaleda, also a former prime minister, made the demand while addressing a rally in Dhaka’s Suhrawardy Udyan marking the November 7 ‘National Revolution and Solidarity Day.
The BNP, now an opposition outside parliament thanks to her boycott of the last general election in 2014, also put this demand to the election commission earlier at a meeting last month.
The party boycotted the 2014 election as its demand for a non-party interim administration to oversee the national polls remained unmet allowing the ruling Awami League party to take clean sweep in most of 300 parliamentary seats, with half of elected uncontested.
The party arranged the rally more than three years after at the same venue as its relation with the ruling party was somewhat hostile after the January 5, 2014 national election.
The BNP has now been getting prepared for the next general election.
Tens of thousands of supporters, activists and the leaders of the party joined the rally despite the opposition party accused the government of preventing its supporters from attending the crowd.
Khaleda herself condemned what she said the government acts of preventing the supporters to turn out. She alleged that her motorcade was blocked by empty-buses putting on the main road in Gulshan.