BNP wants dialogue before polls schedule

BNP wants dialogue before polls schedule

Dhaka, Aug 18 (Just News): BNP Standing Committee Member Nazrul Islam Khan today called upon the authorities concerned to take steps for dialogues with political parties before announcing schedule of the upcoming general election.

“Solve the prevailing political stalemate through dialogue and then announce the polls schedule. Otherwise, the government will be held responsible if any chaotic situation emerges over the issue,” Khan said.

He came up with the warning while addressing a programme organised to press home demand for immediate release of imprisoned BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia at the Jatiya Press Club in Dhaka this noon.

If the government wants to hold an inclusive general election, it will have to pave the path for BNP and other political parties in taking part in the election, the BNP leader said.

On Thursday, the Election Commission (EC) said it will not host any dialogue with political parties ahead of the upcoming parliamentary elections, which is likely to be held at the end of December or the start of January.

While talking to journalists at the commission’s office in Dhaka, EC Secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed said that the election schedule is likely to be announced after October 30.

Referring to the announcement, Khan said, “Please create a congenial atmosphere so that people can reflect their wills in the election.”

The parliamentary election held on January 5, 2014 was boycotted by the BNP-led alliance as their demand for holding the election under a non-partisan administration was not met.

And thus, it was a one-sided election which was marred by widespread irregularities, setting an unprecedented record of having as many as 153 out of 300 MPs elected unopposed.

Since then, BNP has been demanding dialogue for holding of the next general election under a non-party neutral government while the ruling Awami League has been rejecting the plea.

Apart from these, BNP has been raising demands for reconstitution of the present Election Commission and unconditional release of its Chairperson Khaleda Zia from jail to hold the next general election in a free, fair and inclusive manner.

Khan said the ruling quarter will get only one-fourth of total votes across the country in the next general election if it is held under a non-party neutral administration.

“Dialogue is a must and it is the only way of safe exit for the government,” he added.