Hold talks on polls-time govt
12:00 AM, January 14, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:34 AM, January 14, 2018

Hold talks on polls-time govt

BNP asks govt in reaction to PM's address; AL says no need for dialogue on this issue

The BNP yesterday urged the government to hold talks with all stakeholders on the formation of the election-time government about which Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina spoke in her address to the nation on Friday.

The Awami League, however, said a dialogue could take place, but it will not be on the formation of the polls-time government.

In her speech, Hasina said the next parliamentary election would be held under an election-time government in line with the constitution, meaning she would be holding office as the head of the government during the polls.

Rejecting the idea, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir yesterday said it would only deepen the current political crisis. 

“There is no clear provision in the constitution about the election-time government. The election will not be free and fair if it is held under a partisan government without having the parliament dissolved," he said.

Fakhrul came up with his party's formal reaction to the PM's address while speaking at a press conference at BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia's Gulshan office.

At another press briefing at AL chief's Dhanmondi office yesterday, party General Secretary Obaidul Quader said, “The BNP has the right to participate in the polls, then why have talks become necessary?

"The people of this country do not think that there is any complexity over the election."

Quader said talks could take place if it was required. “But there is no need for holding talks on election. Elections will be held in line with the constitution.

The BNP and some other political parties boycotted the January 5 national elections in 2014, demanding the polls under a non-partisan administration. As many as 153 lawmakers were elected uncontested. The polls-time government was headed by Hasina.

Khaleda and her party leaders repeatedly said they would come up with an election-time government formula, but the BNP is yet to place the proposal.

Fakhrul yesterday claimed that the PM's speech did not give the nation any specific directive over holding the upcoming general election under a non-partisan neutral administration.

“What she [PM] said about the next election was very unclear and misleading. Her speech frustrated the nation..."

Expressing optimism about the government holding talks to resolve the ongoing political crisis, the BNP leader said, “The prime minister should take an initiative for holding dialogue with all stakeholders if she [Hasina] is sincerely thinking anything new about the election time-government.”

 “My party thinks that it is possible to reach a meaningful solution over the 2018 elections through cordial talks. The opposition parties and the civil society members have long been demanding a strategy for holding a credible poll," he added. 

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