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BNP undecided, Jamaat ready as time running out

BNP is still undecided whether to participate in the December 18 national election while only six days are left to go before the deadline for filing nominations ends.

The issue of polls participation has already created a distance between BNP and its key ally Jamaat-e-Islami, which appears quite keen to contest the election.

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday reiterated that her party would take part in the polls if the government meets their demands.

She however did not say what would be the response if the caretaker administration declines to fulfil the demands before November 13, the closing date for submitting nominations.

BNP leaders said they are a bit concerned about Jamaat’s “over enthusiasm” for the election.

Talking to The Daily Star, they said their chairperson has already cautioned Jamaat leaders that it’s time for a reality check. Going to polls at this time would do no good to their four-party alliance.

According to party sources, Jamaat has already completed preparations for the election. The BNP rank and file, on the other hand, still does not know if they would boycott the general election.

“I have no clues to what decision our party might take. We will however follow whatever the chairperson should decide with regard to the upcoming election,” a district BNP general secretary told The Daily Star, seeking anonymity.

BNP insiders said the party wants no part in the election as it thinks the odds are still stacked against it.

However, Jamaat’s arguments that a boycott of the vote would mean letting the Awami League-led alliance win unchallenged have put it in a fix. The prospect of the political opponents gaining the two-thirds majority in parliament is even more worrying.

While Jamaat and Islami Oikya Jote (Aminee) are pressing the party hard for a decision in favour of polls participation, some of its [BNP] top leaders appear hell-bent on boycotting the election.

They say the party must not join the parliamentary race if its detained and convicted leaders are not allowed to contest.

Addressing a public gathering in Chittagong yesterday, Khaleda alleged the government has failed to create a level playing field.

The former prime minister however did not drop any hints about their next course of action.

On condition of anonymity, a former BNP lawmaker yesterday told The Daily Star, “It would not be wise to boycott the election as people want to get out of the current situation through a free and fair election.”

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November 7, 2008 Posted by | Bangladesh, Politics | , , , , | Leave a comment

Boycott corrupt people, war criminals in nat’l polls

Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) President Manjurul Ahsan Khan yesterday said a section is hatching conspiracy to foil the upcoming general election.

“Although the polls schedule has been announced, people are still confused whether it will be held or not,” Manjurul said, adding that the country would face a great crisis if the election is not held on the scheduled date. He was speaking at a rally organised by CPB at Muktangan in the city.

Manjurul urged all to be united to resist the conspiracy and boycott corrupt people, terrorists and war criminals in the election to establish democracy.

He also demanded that corrupt people and religion-based and anti-liberation war political parties be declared ineligible to contest the election.

Manjurul said the anti-corruption drive of the government has completely failed.

“When the drive started people arrested on charges of corruption didn’t get bail, but the convicted are getting bails now,” he said adding that people’s expectations after the 1/11 changeover have not been fulfilled.

He stressed the need for nominating candidates who believe in the spirit of the liberation war and speak against anti-liberation forces and fundamentalists, World Bank and IMF for establishing the rights of the people.

Abdul Kader, president of CPB city unit, presided over the rally that was also addressed by central party leaders Lakkhi Chakrabarti, Sajjad Jahir Chandan, Ruhin Hossain Prince and Abdul Malek.

November 4, 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , , , | Leave a comment