14-party wants polls as per constitution

Talks with Oikya Front Nov 7

Staff Correspondent

5 November, 2018 12:00 AM printer

The ruling Awami League-led 14-party alliance on Sunday reached a consensus on holding the 11th parliamentary elections as per the constitution.

Leaders of the alliance partners agreed that they will accept any decision of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and contest the polls under the banner of the coalition.

They made their stance clear during a dialogue with AL president and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at Ganabhaban in the capital.

After the meeting, spokesperson for the alliance Mohammad Nasim told reporters that they have decided to contest the polls under the banner of the alliance.

“Top leaders of the alliance have agreed that they will accept any decision of the premier about election issues,” he added.

Asked about whether the alliance demanded more parliamentary seats, he said the prime minister will take a decision based on survey reports on candidates against each parliamentary seat.

Sheikh Hasina carried out several surveys to know about popularity of her party aspirants. It is expected that the AL president will give party tickets based on the survey reports and opinions from the grass roots.

Emerging from Ganabhaban, AL general secretary Obaidul Quader told reporters that the 14-party alliance will contest the poll together.

Asked about further talks with the Jatiya Oikya Front, the AL spokesperson said they will hold the talks with them at 11:00am on November 7.

The Jatiya Oikya Front on Sunday sent a letter to the AL president, urging her to hold a small-scale dialogue with them again for a fair and participatory election.

Earlier on November 1, the new opposition alliance held a dialogue with the premier, but did not get specific solution to the ongoing crisis.

During the meeting, leaders of both the ruling and opposition camps agreed to continue talks to reach a consensus on some important issues.

Shortly after the talks, BNP said they are not happy about the talks outcome.

The Oikya Front has threatened to launch movement if their seven demands, including release of BNP chief Khaleda Zia, are not met.

Asked about Khaleda’s release, the AL spokesperson said that the decision will be taken during the talks.

Top leaders of the alliance — Workers Party of Bangladesh president Rashed Khan Menon, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal faction president Hasanul Huq Inu, Jatiya Party (Manju) chairman Anwar Hossain Manju, Samyabadi Dal general secretary Dilip Barua, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal faction president Sharif Nurul Ambia and executive president Mayeen Uddin Khan Badal, among others — were present at the talks.

Earlier, the premier reassured AL allies of holding the next general election in a free, fair and neutral manner.

“Exercising franchise is a democratic right of the people. So there is no confusion that the next elections will be held in a free, fair and impartial manner,” she said in her introductory speech.

Sheikh Hasina, also the president of the ruling AL, hoped that all registered political parties and alliances to play a constructive role in holding free, fair and neutral polls. “All the elections held in the last 10 years were free, fair and neutral,” she said, urging all to cast votes for “boat” to keep up the development spree.

Referring to the dark chapter of terrorism, militancy, corruption and money laundering during the BNP-Jamaat rule, the prime minister said Bangladesh will be turned into a country of such crimes again if BNP returns to power.

“The people will be deprived of development and their lot will not change if BNP comes to power again,” she said.