Emergency must go before vote: BNP
Thursday, 09 October 2008

The BNP standing committee Tuesday demanded that the state of emergency be lifted before the parliament elections, now scheduled for Dec 18, reports bdnews24.com.

Secretary general Khandker Delwar Hossain told reporters after a meeting that the party would also like to see certain clauses of the new RPO and the law on party registration further amended.
 
The BNP policymakers also demanded release of political leaders and withdrawal of cases filed against party chairperson Khaleda Zia.
 
The chairperson's new Gulshan office hosted the meeting, from 4:45pm to 7:15 pm, of the party's decision making body.
 
"BNP wants to participate in the election. But a level playing field has not yet been created. The obstacles have to be removed," Delwar said.
 
Replying to a question Delwar said, "If the government invites, we will go for talks and will present our case there."
 
This was the second meeting of the standing committee since Khaleda's release from special jail on Sept 11. The first meeting was held at the party's Naya Paltan central office on Sept 13 that controversially proposed her as chairperson for life.
 
Delwar Hossain, standing committee members M Saifur Rahman, Abdul Matin Chowdhury, Dr RA Gani, Tanveer Ahmed Siddiqui, M Shamsul Islam and retired Lt Gen Mahbubur Rahman attended Tuesday's meeting.
 
Of the 11 members, Barrister Moudud Ahmed and Dr Khandker Mosharraf Hossain are now in jail. Another member Khandker Mahbubuddin Ahmed did not attend the meeting as his brother, Dhaka University law faculty's former dean Prof KAA Kamruddin, died Monday.
 
In the briefing Khandker Delwar described as ill motivated the submission of charge sheets against the leaders including Khaleda Zia and Motiur Rahman Nizami in Barapukuria coal mine case.
 
"On the one hand, the government is talking about election and, on the other, creating political pressure by giving charge sheets."
 
On demand for lifting emergency Delwar repeated the party's position: "A fair democratic election cannot be held under such an autocratic law. We want to return to democracy. So we want withdrawal of the state of emergency."
 
The BNP secretary general blamed the government for price hike of essentials, unemployment and other crises. "Only an elected government can solve these problems."
 
He said: "We have made public our five demands.

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