Hectic negotiation with BNP, AL



E-Bangladesh is a News/Headlines service and a group blog aimed at bringing the news and analysis from Bangladesh to its readers.

Photo: Advisers with Sheikh Hasina, BanglarChokh.

Photo: Advisers with Khaleda Zia, BanglarChokh.

The military-backed government and the political parties until Tuesday night failed to forge any consensus to reschedule the next month’s elections despite hectic negations, overt and covert, as the BNP’s 48-hour deadline expires tonight.

The Bangladesh Nationalist Party rejected the government’s offer to reschedule the parliamentary polls by 10 days asking for at least a month deferral while the Awami League demanded holding the polls as per the schedule on December 18, leaders attending the government-political parties negotiation said.

The AL has no problem if the deadline for submission of nomination papers is delayed by a few days, they said adding that the party and its allies asked the government to hold the polls as per the schedule as it failed to convince the BNP.

‘The government conveyed us that it had offered the Bangladesh Nationalist Party to delay the voting date to December 28 from December 18, but they rejected the proposal,’ Rashed Khan Menon, a leader of the AL-led alliance said after the one-hour meeting between a five-member panel of advisers and the alliance leaders led by AL chief Sheikh Hasina Tuesday night.

Meeting sources said that Hasina asked the government hold the election on December 18 if it fails to settle the issue with BNP.

Earlier in the evening, the panel led by commerce adviser Hossain Zillur Rahman had meeting with the BNP chief Khaleda Zia who gave the interim government and the Election Commission 48 hours’ time, ending this evening, to accept the alliance’s four-point demands, if BNP is to join the polls.

The BNP’s four points, shortened from the seven-point charter that the BNP-led alliance had pressing for the last few weeks, included three of the previous demands—complete lifting of emergency, abolition of the EC’s power to cancel candidature during elections and deferral of the upazila elections by one month after the general elections.

Allowing Hajj pilgrims to cast their ballots came as a new demand.

After the meeting with the leaders of the AL-led alliance, Hossain Zillur Rahman requested the waiting reporters not to ask him any question on the outcome of the meeting. He said that he went there to discuss the ways and means for a free, fair and peaceful election.

‘We have started the discussion and it will continue,’ the adviser told reporters after a one and half hour meting with BNP chairperson at her Gulshan office indicating that the first day consultation inconclusive.

The BNP secretary general, Khandaker Delwar Hossain, also hoped that the discussion will continue saying, ‘We have genuine intention to contest the polls. We have relaxed our standpoint to the maximum possible limit.’

But the BNP leader declined to give details of the discussion expressing optimism that further discussions would break the logjam over holding of the general elections on December 18.

The advisory panel comprising Hossain Zillur Rahman, Ghulam Quader, Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury, Hassan Ariff and Anwarul Iqbal — who negotiated on behalf of the government in previous talks with political parties— also had consultation with chief adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed and Chief Election Commissioner ATM Shamsul Huda in the afternoon

The contents of the two-and-half-hour talk at the chief adviser’s office were not known. None from the government and the EC showed up and briefed as they usually do before television cameras almost after every event or meeting.

At a programme in the morning adviser Hossain Zillur termed the BNP’s conditional stance towards election participation positive saying, ‘It is a great relief for the nation that BNP will participate in the election, though they press for fulfilling certain conditions.’

Reliable sources in the government hinted that the government and the EC were weighing the option of deferring the schedules of both the parliamentary and upazila elections for more than a week.

After the meeting, the panel of five advisers rushed to the BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office. The advisers are expected to meet the BNP leadership again today to convey the government’s latest response to the four-point demands.

Earlier, the Election Commission reviewed the four-point demands and collected a list of hajj pilgrims from the religious affairs ministry to see their return schedules from Saudi Arabia.

The last hajj flight will return to Dhaka on January 2 and election officials estimated that about 80 per cent of pilgrims should return within December as per the flight schedules.

Meanwhile, the Awami League intensified its preparations for elections as per the schedule, selecting party nominees for nearly 175 out of 300 parliamentary constituencies and negotiating with alliance partners.

Former military dictator and Jatiya Party chairman Hussein Mohammad Ershad met with Awami League president Sheikh Hasina Tuesday evening, claiming that they agreed on “election together and formation of the next government together.’


E-Bangladesh is a News/Headlines service and a group blog aimed at bringing the news and analysis from Bangladesh to its readers.

119 Responses to “Hectic negotiation with BNP, AL”

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    Khondkar Abdus Saleque

    Taking advantage of free press and open media some people of immediate past failed government are spreading venom against their political opponents and Advisors of the Care Taker Government. While criticising they are forgetting their own misdeeds and failures. We have observed some controversy over repatriation of money of a certain bank. The allegation was made by an advisor of the Prime minister of the 4 party led alliance government against Chief of Anti Corruption Commission and Ex Army Chief. That gentleman was also Advisor to the Care Taker Government.Bangladesh Bank; the bank concerned clarified the matter.The complaint has been sent to Cabinet Division for appropriate action. The person who made the allegation is not satisfied. He is desperate to see ACC Chief gets punishment whether or not he is found guilty. Neutral observers may genuinely ask why this gentleman is so desperate against ACC Chief whose credential to the nation is not unknown. If Chief of ACC is involved in any misdeed let the process establish that. Why that gentle is so desperate.

    The gentleman concerned is raising his voice against the Sector Commanders of our Glorious liberation war. The forum is leading a movement for ensuring the fair trial of the war criminals –anti liberation force. We can not understand why that person is issuing statement against the forum. Is he upset that the atrocities of the war criminals are going to be established and war criminals are getting increasingly scared of their probable delayed trial. Whom the gentleman is working for? He should know his own loopholes also. We know the person since 1973 .We is not aware of his role in 1971? We are also not aware of his links with war criminals and anti liberation force .But we know at least this much that he hails from a place in Comilla which is also the place of the greatest traitor Khondkar Mustaque who masterminded the killing of the father of the nation and liberation front leaders in central jail in 1975. In our university we were active student leaders but we never found the person involved in any kind of political and social activities. He was good engineer and innovator off course. He came in contact with political leadership through his marriage as his father in law is a known leader of a particular political party. He occupied vintage position of the government by dint of his contact with two controversial persons of the past regime. He was a favourite of Hawa Bahaban. There are unconfirmed reports that many a time he accompanied the secret mission of two of the most corrupt persons of previous government abroad. If some agency dig out all his foreign visits during 2004-2006 it may not be impossible to dig out his covert activities in clandestine missions.

    The person in question was chief of the board of investment an also advisor to PM.He claims himself as Energy expert. We know other than spending few years in Titas gas sales department he never had any hands on experience in any energy infrastructure development project or operation and maintenance of energy facility. He can have political belief as citizen of sovereign nation .He was not elected member of the parliament so in the capacity of technocrat he could not officially exercise his authority as advisor also as technocrat quota of Alliance government cabinet was saturated before he joined. So all the decisions he made or participated in as advisor to PM may come under scrutiny. He questioned the integrity of both Awami League and BNP energy management for alleged irregularities in Coal mining deal with AEC. This issue may be examined. He may be asked to provide evidence. He mismanaged the Phulbari issue and should be made accountable for killings in Phulbari.He mishandled coal policy and made it complex for government to approve giving indulgence to persons who never had any qualification and experience of mining.
    This gentleman along with A.N.H Akhter Hussain and Engr.Tuhin masterminded removal of many competent professionals of energy sector who according to them were Awami elements. He created division among professionals and must be made accountable for the human resource crisis of the Gas sector.
    This gentleman during his time in the government and at the initial stage of the care taker government was an active player of election engineering for the party and alliance of his faith. The night safari at his business office of like minded government officials is well known.
    We can not understand when the entire nation is coming together in the demand for trial of war criminals why he should spread venom against sector commanders’ forum. He has problem with Awami League the party which le liberation war, he has problem with sector commanders forum which led the war and is now leading movement for trial of war criminals, he has problem with chief of anti corruption commission who has tried his level best to bring corrupt persons under justice. Is he not trying to throw stones sitting inside galss house? He finds Indian link with the works of any force. Was not he very excited to table the mega investment proposal of Indian Conglomerate Tata to set up several industries in Bangladesh? Why did he fail to scrap contract with Niko after the probe report established their novishness in Tengratilla blow out?
    He is one of our very close friend .He is a ceramic specialist and leading business enterpreauner. We wish that he restrains and also readjust his bearing right. One can not survive in a country working against the will of the people. We think our friend is desperate to keep afloat a sinking boat.

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