The ruling Awami League-led 14-party alliance has hailed the election schedule announced on Thursday amid opposition from different political parties.
BNP has dismissed the schedule as ‘one-sided’ and said it reflects the wishes of the ruling Awami League.Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda announced the schedule for the 11th parliamentary polls in a televised address to the nation.
“The elections will be held on December 23,” he said.
Hailing the announcement of the poll schedule, AL presidium member Faruk Khan urged all political parties to participate in the polls.
“We hope that a free, fair and credible election will be held and people will franchise their voting rights freely,” he told the daily sun.
He hoped that people will be able to cast their votes for their chosen candidates.
It is the duty of political parties to assist the Election Commission in holding the elections in a credible manner, he added.AL joint general secretary Mahbub-ul Alam Hanif said that the confusion over the polls has been driven away through the announcement of the poll schedule.
“Awami League expects that all parties will participate in the polls. People believe that the elections will be held on the scheduled date.”
Hanif further said if they (Jatiya Oikya Front) want to serve the people, they will join the polls.
Hailing the poll schedule, the associate bodies of the ruling party, including Jubo League and Chhatra League, brought out processions and distributed sweets in different places.
Main opposition Jatiya Party also welcomed the announcement of the poll schedule.
JP secretary general Ruhul Amin Hawlader told a press briefing that the EC took some of their demands into consideration.
“We have urged the Election Commission to deploy army in the polls. It has taken the call into cognisance. The polls will be held in a credible manner,” he told reporters.
Responding to a question, he hopes that all parties will participate in the elections.
Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (faction) president Hasanul Huq Inu welcomed the Election Commission for the announcement of a poll schedule.
Workers’ Party of Bangladesh also hailed the election schedule.
In an instant reaction, BNP alleged that the government’s desire has been reflected in the announcement of the poll schedule.
“They (EC) have announced the schedule to hold another unilateral election without reflecting people’s expectation and desire. The government’s desire has been reflected in it,“ BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said.
“The people of this country will not accept any election contrary to people’s expectation and desire,” he added.
He further said they will give a formal reaction after holding a meeting of the BNP standing committee, the BNP-led 20-party alliance and the Jatiya Oikya Front.
The Jatiya Oikya Front, an alliance of BNP and other opposition parties, has asked the EC to defer the poll schedule to pave a way for their participation in the polls.
Jukto Front chairman AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury on Thursday demanded reschedule of the poll schedule, seeking shifting of the voting day to December 30 from December 23.
In a statement, the Jukto Front leader also sought deferral of nomination paper submission for a week by November 26 instead of November 19.
He also sought shifting of the date for scrutiny of nomination papers to November 29 from November 22 and the last date for withdrawal of candidature to December 6 from November 29.