Delwar demands exit of CEC
Thursday, 24 April 2008

Staff Correspondent

BNP factional leader Khandaker Delwar Hossain, disgruntled by the Election Commission's invitation to his rival faction, Wednesday demanded the resignation of the chief election commissioner.

Delwar told reporters on his NAM flat in the Sangsad Bhaban area that his faction would not take part in elections unless former prime ministers Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina were freed.

After a morning meeting with senior and central leaders of BNP, Delwar demanded that CEC ATM Shamsul Huda and two other commissioners resign and the state of emergency be lifted too.

The meeting discussed such issues as the Election Commission's invitation to the reformist faction of BNP, pre-dialogue talks with advisers and the government's policy in dealing with BNP leaders and former lawmakers.

Demanding the release of Khaleda and Hasina, the BNP leader said: "BNP will not take part in any election based on conspiracies to yield predetermined results."

"The caretaker government has made a blueprint for an election and is working toward achieving the goal of holding the election in line with the blueprint," he alleged. "The government wants to form a parliament with the people of its own choice, excluding the chiefs of the two major political parties," Delwar alleged.

"A certain group is calling up local chairmen and other influential people and asking them to join a purposively formatted BNP to participate in the polls," he alleged. "People of this country will never accept it." Criticising the EC's activities, he said, "No free or fair election will be possible under this Election Commission. It must go.

Its officials must resign. The commission has created a lot of controversy." Delwar alleged that certain quarters are intimidating party leaders such as Chowdhury Tanveer Ahmed Siddiqui and M Shamsul Islam. Delwar accused the reformist faction's acting secretary general Hafizuddin Ahmed of breaching party discipline and code of conduct.

Trashing Hafiz's statement that he would take Delwar to the EC dialogue along with him, Delwar said: "Who is Hafiz that I should be going along with him? I don't recognise him as anyone who matters." Replying to a query, he said the issue of the EC not inviting him to dialogue would be sorted out in discussion with senior lawyers.

Among others, BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia's adviser ASM Hannan Shah, joint secretaries general Selima Rahman and Nazrul Islam Khan and acting office secretary Rizvi Ahmed were present at the briefing

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