Upazila polls after JS convenes
Tuesday, 23 September 2008

BNP, allies ask EC

Staff Correspondent

The BNP and its allies have asked the Election Commission to hold Upazila polls after the parliament convenes.

"The schedule for the Upazila polls should be set at a realistic time after the parliament is formed," BNP secretary general Khandaker Delwar Hossain said to reporters after a meeting of the secretaries general of the four-party alliance.
"There is doubt about whether the Upazila elections will be properly held if they take place immediately after the Jatiya Sangsad (parliament) elections," he said.
"It may well be all chaos if the Upazila polls were held after a week before the national elections."
"The caretaker government has no constitutional obligation to hold elections to Upazila Pasishad bodies," he said.
He said the Election Commission should stage the general elections after ensuring the participation of all the parties.
Delwar lauded the chief adviser for announcing the schedule for the national elections.
But he differed on the chief adviser's remarks on the state of emergency.
"The chief adviser's statement on the state of emergency is unacceptable and unsatisfactory. Emergency should be lifted."
Replying to a query he said: "BNP is an election-oriented party. We want to participate in the elections. There is no alternative to it. "
"The Election Commission should remove all still apparent oddities so that we can join the elections," Delwar said.
He stressed on equal scopes for all parties, amendment to a number of sections of the new Representation of People Order, correction of conditions of the registration laws and a halt to the redrawing of electoral constituencies.
The BNP leader said their talks with the Election Commission on Sept 20 were positive.
"We have asked the Election Commission about the issues. We hope the commission will respond positively to our proposals."
He said many parties would not be able to participate if the elections were held in accordance with the new electoral laws.
Acting Jamaat-e-Islami secretary general M Kamaruzzaman, former lawmaker Abdus Sobhan, Bangladesh Jatiya Party chairman Andalib Rahman, secretary general Shamim Al Mamun, Islami Oikyo Jote secretary general Abdul Latif Nezami and Khelafat Majlish secretary general Ahmed Abdul Quader were present in the meeting.

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