AL asks govt to hold national polls by Oct end
Sunday, 24 August 2008

Staff Correspondent

The Awami League has demanded parliamentary elections by the third week of October and consultations with political parties on the new electoral laws.

"Not on December 22, hold the elections in the second or third week of October and hand over power to an elected government," presidium member Amir Hossain Amu said at a discussion meeting at the party headquarters on Friday.
The Election Commission has spoken of December 22 as a possible date for general elections.
The meeting was organised by the party's women front Mohila Awami League in memory of those killed in the grenade attack on an AL rally on August 21, 2004 including former women affairs secretary Ivy Rahman.
Amu demanded that the Representation of the People Order (Amendment) Ordinance 2008 that took effect on Thursday be enforced on consultation with all the stakeholders.
"We want transfer of power through a fair election," he said.
His presidium colleague Tofail Ahmed asked the interim government not to frame laws that the political parties would not accept.
The new laws make registration of political parties mandatory and ban their front organisations.
He accused the Election Commission of throwing the general elections into uncertainty.
"Nothing has happened as per the roadmap (of the Election Commission). The roadmap stipulated election laws in February, registration of political parties in June and finalisation of the voter list in July but nothing happened in that order."
"The government was trying to control political parties. To meet the conditions the Election Commission set for registration each party will have to hold a conference," he said.
"Don't create a situation that makes the elections uncertain."
They recounted the attack.
Amu claimed sensing his party was set to come back to power, the defeated forces of 1971 launched the attack, which he said was not on any individual but on the pro-liberation, secular forces.
Tofail put the blame on the then BNP-led alliance government for the grenade blasts and alleged no action had been taken against the police officers who tried to cover up the incident.
The evidence was destroyed in the name of police clubbing immediately after the attack.
Another presidium member, Motia Chowdhury said, "We don't expect this government to curb militancy. With people's mandate we'll hold trial of the perpetrators of the August 21 grenade attack ."
AL women affairs secretary Dr Dipu Moni, Dhaka city AL acting general secretary advocate Kamrul Islam, former women lawmaker Khaleda Khanam and those injured in the attack including Shahida Tarek Dipti, Nasima Montu and Yasmin also spoke.
A milad mahfil was held seeking salvation of the souls of those killed in the grenade attack.

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