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BNP’s focus now on poll-time govt
Tuesday, 14 February 2017
BNP’s focus now on poll-time govt

After formation of the new election commission, Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) has now shifted its focus on election-time administration ahead of the next general election.

BNP is raising voice over the formation of the new election commission (EC), the party actually wants to keep the Awami League government under pressure through it in a bid to ensure holding of the next general election under poll-time administration, BNP insiders said.

They said the party now wants to raise voice to realise its demand for poll-time administration.

After holding a series of meetings with the top leaders of her party, BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia criticised the formation of the new EC and discussed the issue of poll-time administration for the next general election and their next course of action.

“We have discussed formation of the new EC and our movement. We have been asked to take preparations for everything,” BNP vice-chairman Khandaker Mahbub Hossain told daily sun after attending a meeting of Khaleda with party’s vice-chairmen on Saturday night.

Criticising the appointment of the new CEC, Khaleda Zia told the meeting that they would give formula for poll-time ‘helping government’ and create pressure on the government to meet their demand, sources said.

A BNP leader who was present in a meeting of the party chairperson with her advisers on Sunday night said Khaleda Zia asked all to increase mass contact to drum up public support in favour of their demand for election under a non-party poll-time administration.

Addressing a press conference at the party’s central office, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Monday said, “We will give proposal for a helping government [poll-time govt] and ask the government to take initiative to discuss the issue.”

Asked whether BNP would urge President Md Abdul Hamid to take initiative for holding talks on the issue of poll-time government, he said, “Now we will place the proposal to the prime minister.
She will come to this path else she has to shoulder all responsibilities.”

“The task of making the draft of poll-time helping government has almost been completed. The BNP chairperson will finalise it after discussing the matter with the party’s senior leaders. She may place it at a press conference immediately,” a top leader of BNP told daily sun wishing anonymity.

Khaleda Zia also said apart from a neutral EC, a neutral government is needed to hold a free, fair and credible election.

Mirza Fakhrul earlier at another press conference claimed that after formation of the new election commission, logic of their proposal about necessity of forming poll-time neutral ‘helping government’ has been stronger.

BNP insiders said now the party will try to make public opinion in favour of their poll-time ‘helping government’ formula and they will raise voice in this issue.

Meanwhile, speaking at a roundtable discussion, BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi on Sunday demanded resignation of the newly appointed Chief Election Commissioner.

It is noted that BNP boycotted the parliamentary election in 2014, demanding a non-partisan government to oversee the polls. The 15th amendment to the constitution scrapped the provision for the poll-time caretaker government system.

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