AL, NAP doubt holding of polls as per EC roadmap
Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Staff Correspondent

The Awami League and the Mozaffar Ahmed-led faction of National Awami Party on Sunday expressed doubts about implementation of the election roadmap announced by the Election Commission to hold the 9th parliamentary polls by December 2008.

AL presidium member Tofail Ahmed, said after the meeting, 'We want election and lifting of the state of emergency before the polls.'

The chief election commissioner, chief of the caretaker government and chief of army staff have repeatedly said that the general elections would be held before the end of 2008, but on Saturday one of the election commissioners Muhammad Sohul Hussain stated that election would become uncertain if the EC's dialogue with the BNP is not completed, Tofail pointed out.

The people's doubts about holding the parliamentary election according to the roadmap's schedule will be intensified due to such contradictory statements, he said. After the meeting of the two parties at Mozaffar's Kakrail residence in the morning, the NAP leader told reporters that the countrymen were anxiously waiting for a free and fair election.

'There is too much dillydallying over holding the election, and I doubt whether the polls will be held within 2008,' said Mozaffar.

The two parties, after the end of the meeting that lasted for one and half hours, decided to place identical proposals during the second round of dialogues with the EC and also at the proposed dialogue with the government, said the leaders at the press briefing.

'We shall demand release of AL president Sheikh Hasina, general secretary Abdul Jalil and other political prisoners at the dialogue with the government,' Tofail added.

AL presidium members Amir Hossain Amu, Abdur Razzak, Suranjit Sengupta and Matia Chowdhury, acting general secretary Syed Ashraful Islam, Abdul Mannan and NAP general secretary Enamul Haque and presidium member Amena Ahmed and others took part in the discussion.

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