Quader says talks with parties also to discuss post-polls situation
Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Staff Correspondent

The housing and public works adviser, Ghulam Quader, on Monday said the dialogues the government announces to hold with political parties should not only deal with electoral issues but also discuss post-polls situation.

It will be bad for all if the country, after general elections, gets back to the situation before the polls, he said. ‘It will not help if only electoral issues are discussed in the dialogues.

The dialogues should also address the post-elections situation…. It will be bad if the country returns to its previous situation after the polls,’ Quader, a retired army official, told reporters after a meeting at the secretariat.

He said this was his personal view of the dialogues the government said it would hold with political parties. Quader’s opinion came after an adviser’s statement about for tagging conditions to holding such dialogues had drawn adverse reaction from political parties.

After a conference in Dhaka on Saturday, the law adviser, AF Hassan Ariff, said the government would soon hold dialogues with political parties. ‘However, before that, the political parties need to pledge what they want to do for the people because nobody wants a repeat of the situation that was before January 11, 2007,’ he said.

The chief adviser, Fakhruddin Ahmed, during visit to Switzerland in the past week, said the government would soon sit with political parties to discuss holding of free, fair and credible elections and strengthening the foundation of democracy.

About the recent High Court rule on the Election Commission and the interim government asking them to explain why their failure to hold the ninth parliamentary polls within 90 days after the dissolution of the parliament would not be unconstitutional, Quader, also the communications adviser, said it was at matter of court. ‘The Election Commission will say when it is going to hold the polls.’

He said the commission would fix an appropriate time for the elections. ‘But how can the commission hold elections by stopping its ongoing voters’ roll preparation?’

Asked whether the dialogue was part of the government’s exit plan, he replied in the negative. ‘We have our own exit plan and that it is to hand over power through free and fair elections by the end of 2008.’

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