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8 November, 2018 10:47:59 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 8 November, 2018 11:44:53 AM
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Depth of despair in Oikyafront deepens as ‘dialogue turns futile’

Independent Online Desk
Depth of despair in Oikyafront deepens as ‘dialogue turns futile’
Dr Kamal Hossain. File photo

Jatiya Oikyafront, led by Dr Kamal Hossain, placed three proposals, including an outline of the election-time government, during its second round of talks with the Prime Minister-led 14-party alliance on Wednesday, but none was accepted by its opponents.

The opposition alliance strongly argued for dissolution of parliament, reconstitution of the Election Commission and Khaleda Zia’s release, but could not reach any consensus with the 14-party leaders, JSD general secretary Abdul Malek Ratan told UNB.

He said they discussed their various demands under three major points -- neutral election-time government and dissolution of parliament, reconstitution of the Election Commission and creation of a level-playing field. “We’re frustrated as we didn’t get any positive results.”

Another Oikyafront leader, wishing anonymity, said Dr Kamal Hossain urged the Prime Minister to sit in talks further for resolving the contentious issues and paving the way for a meaningful election. “But the Prime Minister didn’t respond to it only hinting that informal discussions can be held,” he said.

He said the Oikyafront leaders placed an election-time government outline comprising 10 advisers, and a chief adviser to be constituted by the President after dissolution of parliament, but the 14-party leaders rejected it.

The Oikyafront leader also said parliament can be dissolved as per the section 123 (3) (B) and the election can be held in the last week of February or in early March.

In reply, the Prime Minister said it is now not possible to dissolve parliament and the government has nothing to do with the deferment of the election schedule since it is the jurisdiction of the Election Commission.

Another Oikyafront leader said the Prime Minister urged them to join the polls assuring that it will be free and fair. “Keep trust in me as the election will be fair,” he quoted the Prime Minister as saying.

He said they also placed a proposal for the reconstitution of the Election Commission.

The the Oikyafront leader mentioned that in their proposal they said at least the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) can resign as per section 118 (6) of the Constitution and the President can appoint a new CEC based on discussions with the political parties.

But most of the 14-party leaders opposed the proposal, saying a fair election is possible by the current CEC, he added.

The Oikyafront leader said they also placed a proposal with some demands for creating a level-playing field during the election.

As per their demands, they said Khaleda Zia must be released from jail on bail and it is possible if the Attorney General and the state lawyers do not oppose her bail petitions.

He said they also demanded the release of the political leaders who are in jail on various charges, except those in killing and rape cases.

They also demanded the guarantee for exercising their rights to hold rallies and political programmes.

Their some other demands include taking steps to stop leakage of telephonic conversation and cancellation of the decision of using EVMs in the election.

In response to the proposal and demands on the level-playing field, the 14-party leaders assured the Oikyafront leaders that a level-playing field will be created as MPs and ministers will have no authority during polls.

They also said they will assist the EC to ensure a level-playing field.

Besides, the Prime Minister assured the Oikyafront leaders of taking steps to stop arrest of their leaders and withdraw false cases.

She, however, said the court will decide on Khaleda issue, the Oikyafront leader added.

At the beginning of the talks, an Oikyafront leader said, Dr Kamal Hossain told the Prime Minister that they came to hear from her on their seven-point demand, but the Prime Minister urged the Oikyafront leaders to speak first.

At one stage of the talks, Awami League leader Tofail Ahmed said Oikyafront’s formula on the election-time government cannot be accepted as it will only create a constitutional crisis.unb.

BNP leader Moudud Ahmed said their proposal can be accepted in line with the Constitution and it will not create crisis.

At one stage, Moudud and Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader exchanged some heated words over their local politics.

As Moudud said he cannot go to his village home due to police harassment, Quader said he had also faced the same problem during BNP’s rule.

The Prime Minister concluded the dialogue with her speech and she warned that she will not allow anyone to implement any plot to foil the election.

After the talks, Awami League’s advisory council member Tofail Ahmed said Oikyfront placed some unconstitutional proposals and statements that are not acceptable.

He also said the dialogue is over but they will not have any objection if the Oikyafront leaders want to sit with them after the announcement of the election schedule.

Oikyafront leader Mahmudur Rahman Manna said they discussed many things but did not find any solution.

HM

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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