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EC welcomes govt move for dialogues with parties PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 13 January 2008

Staff Correspondent

The chief election commissioner, ATM Shamsul Huda, on Friday termed the reported decision of the interim government to hold dialogues with political parties as a right step.

'It is good that the government will sit with political parties. When the Election Commission sat with the parties, some political issues like that of the war criminals came up; but we have nothing to do with such issues. Now that the government is thinking about holding talks with the parties, we view it as a right step,' the CEC told reporters after attending the annual prize distribution ceremony of central Kachi Kanchar Mela.

The council of advisers at a special meeting on Thursday decided to hold talks with the political parties to accommodate their views in conducting the parliamentary elections before the end of the year.

Asked whether there would be any problem in implementing the election roadmap because of the resignation of four advisers, Huda replied in negative.

'We are working on our own. They [advisers] have been impressed by our work, and have not tried to put pressure. So there will be no problem because of the changes in the advisory council.'

He said that the EC would complete the reform of the electoral laws after holding talks with the BNP in accordance with the High Court verdict.

When asked to comment on the demand of a political party for holding the polls by the middle of this year, Sohul said, 'We have made our position clear and announced the roadmap towards holding the polls by the end of December, 2008. The electoral roll may be completed earlier and so the national elections may be held before the deadline [December]. But we cannot say for certain, at least at the moment.'

'This [reforms] will not be completed without BNP. They are one of the major parties in the country. So we will sit with BNP soon after the High Court completes the hearing in the case [regarding the dispute over BNP representation in the dialogue] and gives its verdict.'

Asked about the confusion over holding of polls by the end of this year, the CEC said, 'I see plenty of signs that the polls are going to be held. Those who had expressed doubts about the polls last year, are now getting confident about polls. I hope that holding of the city corporation polls in April will make the people more confident.'

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