EC, mainstream BNP sit in dialogue
Sunday, 21 September 2008

Chief election commissioner ATM Shamsul Huda speaks with BNP leaders at the EC Secretariat on the last day of electoral dialogue Saturday.Staff Correspondent

The Election Commission sat with mainstream BNP for the first time, on the concluding day of the final round of electoral dialogue on Saturday.

An 11-member BNP team, headed by BNP secretary general Khandaker Delwar Hossain, began its talks with the CEC-led delegation at 11.50am.
 
The party has said it will discuss lifting of the state of emergency, holding of the parliamentary polls ahead of all elections and scrapping of laws banning front organisations, among other issues at the dialogue.
 
The EC began the final round's final day of talks earlier with Jamaat-e-Islami, around 10:30 am at the EC Secretariat, with a seven-member Jamaat delegation being led by nayeb-e-ameer Moqbul Hossain, while chief election commissioner ATM Shamsul Huda led the EC side.
 
Jamaat secretary general M Kamaruzzaman, before the party's meeting, told bdnews24.com that they would discuss registration of the political parties, the Representation of the People Order (amendment) Ordinance, withdrawing the state of emergency and holding national polls ahead of all other elections.
 
The third and final round of electoral dialogue between the EC and political parties began on Sept 6, with a total of 16 parties invited.
 
BNP and its allies skipped their previous schedule dialogues earlier in the month, however, saying they would not sit with the EC before the release of the Khaleda Zia from detention.
 
On her release on Sept 11, the BNP chief announced that her party would sit with the EC for talks and take part in the upcoming polls.
 
Four-party alliance members Jaamat-e-Islami and Islami Oikya Jote followed suit.
 
In the last of the dialogue sessions, IOJ is scheduled to sit with the EC after BNP on Saturday

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