Dhaka – The dialogue between the Awami League led ruling alliance and the Jatiya Oikya Front led opposition alliance has yielded some progresses towards credible holding of Bangladesh’s national election due by January 2019.
The ruling quarters say the dialogue ushered significant improvement of the situation while the opposition says there was ‘no solution’ was made. Top leaders of the two camps discussed issues related to the election at the Prime Minister’s official Gonobhaban residence on Thursday for more than three hours.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, also the president of the ruling Awami League led the ruling side while Kamal Hossain, a prominent lawyer and former foreign minister, led the opposition side at the meeting attended by 43 leaders of the Oikya Front and the ruling 14-Party coalition.
Asked how the discussion went, Oikya Front chief Hossain, coming out of the talks, said ‘Good’.
In the beginning of the crowded presser, Kamal said leaders of different parties in the Oikya Front spoke at the talks and raised many allegations.
The prime minister gave a long speech after hearing from all, he said. “But we did not find any specific solution.”
Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader said they were happy with the outcome of the meeting. He said the Oikya Front leaders, if they want, can join yet another round of talks. “The door is always open.”
The main issue of the BNP was the release of its jailed leader Khaleda Zia, who was convicted in two graft cases and jailed for 10 years. They raised the issue, but the Prime Minister said that she has nothing to do with the case since she was convicted in a case filed before she assumed office in 2009.
The ruling quarter said that the election would be held under the existing provisions of the constitution that allowed the present government to assist the election commission to hold the polls. But the opposition wanted the parliament be dissolved, the government must step down and form a non-party administration to oversee the election, according to leaders attended the meeting.
The government also assured the opposition that they would be allowed to hold rallies and political gatherings without any obstacles. Police will help them to ensure security.
The Prime Minister also asked the opposition leaders, who demanded withdrawal of politically motivated cases against the opposition activists, to submit a list of such ‘repressive’ cases.