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CEC relates all poll dates to talks with BNP PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Staff Correspondent

The EC will announce the dates for general elections and Upazila and Dhaka City Corporation polls after capping its third-round dialogue by holding talks with BNP this week, chief election commissioner ATM Shamsul Huda said Monday.

However, he added, the election schedules will not be announced right away.
 
BNP joint secretary general Nazrul Islam Khan and office secretary Rizvi Ahmed met with the CEC Monday noon to accept the EC's invitation to join the dialogue.
 
The two leaders delivered a letter signed by Khan on behalf of Delwar to the CEC.
 
After the meeting, Khan said: "We came to reply to the Eelection Commission's invitation. With the Election Commission's consent BNP will sit in talks with them any day this week."
 
"The exact date for the dialogue will be fixed after discussing it with the party secretary general."
 
Asked whether three rounds of talks with BNP was required as with other political parties, the joint secretary general said: "If one sitting solves all problems several rounds of discussion will not be necessary."
 
Earlier in the day, the local government adviser said the EC would announce the election schedule even if BNP did not join the dialogue.
 
"Time is running fast. If BNP does not hold dialogue with the Election Commission it will announce the election schedule," Anwarul Iqbal told reporters at the Secretariat.
 
Asked whether it would be possible to stage national elections in December in line with the roadmap he said: "You have seen the chief election commissioner's statement in the newspapers. He said that the election schedule would be declared after talks with BNP."
 
"It will be good if BNP holds talks with the commission. If they don't come what else can we do?"
 
"The commission will then have to disclose schedule without holding dialogue with them," the adviser said.
 
On the government's planned dialogue with BNP, Iqbal, who is one of the advisers to hold dialogue with political parties, said: "So far as I know they have agreed to sit with the government."
 
"The problem is with time. They will have to give us time. If they give time, the government will hold talks with BNP," he said.

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