Dhaka – Bangladesh Nationalist Party of jailed former prime minister Khaleda Zia will join the 11th parliamentary election as part of its “ongoing agitations to restore democracy”.
The party, which boycotted the last election in 2014 and forged an alliance with Gono Forum of former foreign minister Kamal Hossain, announced its decision at a crowded news conference in Dhaka on Sunday.
But the party under the new alliance Jatiya Oikya Front wanted the election commission to defer the polls schedule by at least one-month. Bangladesh’s election commission earlier fixed voting date for December 23.
BNP’s secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir read out the speech at a the news conference on behalf of Kamal Hossain, who responded to questions from reporters with the help of Fakhrul and ASM Abdur Rob of Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal at the National Press Club.
“We are not moving away from our seven-point demand. We are adding the demand of deferring the election schedule by one month,” Kamal Hossain was quoted to have said by Fakhrul.
Oikyafront has decided to participate in the election as part of their movement for restoration of democracy despite many adversaries, he said.
The opposition alliance, formed in October, held a series of meetings with the Awami League-led ruling coalition of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the first week on November to put seven-point demands, including release of Khaleda Zia, dissolution of parliament, formation of a neutral administration ahead of the election.
Fakhrul said the government paid no need to any of the demands.
As reporters were asking questions on their decision to participate the election, Kamal Hossain was seem to be confused. He was looking on his left and right to get assistance from Rab and Fakhrul, to answer the questions.
“We are in agitation, it will continue,” he said ahead of the closure of the news conference.