POST TIME: 20 November, 2018 01:01:44 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 20 November, 2018 11:06:12 AM
AL plans to bring allies on board
Abu Jakir, Dhaka

AL plans to bring allies on board

The Awami League (AL) has decided to announce its party nominations for the upcoming general election, slated for December 30, together with alliance partners. Although the party earlier said it would announce the names of 300 candidates against 300 parliamentary seats and sit with its alliance partners. But now, the party has decided to announce the party nomination list after sharing seats with its alliance partners and other likeminded political parties.

Party insiders said the AL would sit first with the Jatiya Party (JP-Ershad), which was a key ally of AL-led Grand Alliance. Next, the party will sit with the 14-Party Alliance and other likeminded political parties, including Jukta Front, over the seat-sharing issue. The JP is now the main opposition in Parliament.     

A source in the 14-Party Alliance said the AL president, Sheikh Hasina, would sit with the JP first and then with other political parties over the seat-sharing issue.  “As far as I know, the AL president is likely to sit with the JP on Monday. After that, we will sit with her in a day or two to talk about the issue,” he added.

When contacted, JP secretary general Ruhul Amin Hawlader said: “I heard that our party chief will sit with AL president Sheikh Hasina Monday to discuss the seat-sharing issue.”

He, however, did not tell elaborately how many seats the AL would sacrifice for the JP in the December 30 general poll.

However, AL sources said the party (AL) set aside about 70 seats for its allies. It may sacrifice 40 parliamentary seats for the JP in the national election, while the JP is seeking 100 seats.

The JP has 29 MPs in the current Parliament.

Talking about the nomination issue, AL general secretary Obaidul Quader said they will announce the party nominations under the banner of the AL-led 14-Party Alliance. “Our party chief, Sheikh Hasina, has decided that the names of the candidates of the AL-led alliance will be announced soon after sitting with our alliance partners,” he added.

Talking to reporters at AL president Sheikh Hasina’s Dhanmondi political office yesterday, the AL general secretary said they will sit with the JP, Jukta Front and leaders of the 14-Party Alliance soon to finalise the candidates’ list of the AL-led alliance.

Replying to a question, Quader said: “No one can claim to be a candidate of AL-led alliance for the December 30 poll until we announce the names of the candidates.”

The AL has already finilised a list of 300 MP candidates, but the party is yet to release it as around 65-70 seats will have to be sacrificed for its alliance leaders to constest the polls.

Party leaders and workers have been eagerly waiting for the announcement of party nominations. They daily gather at AL president Sheikh Hasina’s Dhanmondi office to know the names of those who will get the much-coveted electoral symbol of ‘Nouka’.

Meanwhile, sources say that some incumbent party lawmakers and some top leaders are unlikely to get party nomination this time as the ruling party has decided to part with controversial and unpopular candidates.

Leaders of the AL and its allies have been lobbying with ministers and influential leaders to get to get nominated by the party to contest the next election. The party’s central leaders, who have already collected nomination papers, have been thronging Gono Bhaban, the official residence of Prime minister Sheikh Hasina, while young leaders are lobbying hard with influential leaders to get party tickets.

Earlier, on Wednesday, the AL chief Sheikh Hasina had made it clear that no one would be tolerated to contest against the party-nominated candidates in the next poll.