Political parties, government busy to resolve ‘crisis’ in Bangladesh‏



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

Major political parties and the interim government on Thursday put in hectic efforts to resolve the current political crisis by ensuring participation of the parties in the parliamentary elections.

Some leaders of the BNP, Awami League and Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami and the panel of advisers dealing with political negotiations were keeping in touch till Thursday evening although the feuding sides were divided on the implementation of the four-point demand of the BNP and its allies.

‘The advisers communicated with some of us on Wednesday to know whether we would contest the polls if it could be held on December 28,’ the BNP chairperson, Khaleda Zia, said at a briefing Thursday evening in her office at Gulshan. ‘They [advisers] said three of the four demands could be considered if the alliance agreed to the December 28 elections.’

Four of the five advisers dealing with political negotiations had a meeting at the secretariat on Thursday with the communications adviser, Ghulam Quader, in the chair.

The panel members — law adviser AF Hassan Ariff, LGRD and cooperatives adviser Anwarul Iqbal and commerce adviser Hossain Zillur Rahman — attended the meeting, which lasted for an hour and a half, to discuss ways to address the political crisis.

When approached after the meeting, the advisers refused to disclose anything to newsmen. All of them came out of the communications ministry one after another at about 1:30pm and hurried away, ignoring the queries of reporters waiting outside.

A section of influential persons in the military-controlled interim government, including some advisers, had also contacted other leaders, including BNP standing committee members Khandakar Mosharraf Hossain and Mahbubur Rahman and joint secretary general Nazrul Islam Khan and the Awami League’s joint general secretary Syed Ashraful Islam on Wednesday and Thursday.

The BNP-led alliance chief, Khaleda Zia, Monday evening gave the government 48 hours to take measures to implement its four-point charter of demands.

The five advisers held negotiations with Khaleda Zia and her political arch-rival Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina Tuesday evening.

The government’s specific proposals included rescheduling of the national elections to December 28, instead of December 18, a complete withdrawal of the state of emergency before the parliamentary polls considering law and order on the ground, holding of the upazilla elections on January 8 and assurance of the highest caution and procedural transparency in the application of Article 91(E) of the Representation of the People Order.

According to the sources involved in the parleys, the BNP-led alliance on Wednesday agreed to the government’s proposal for the deferral of polls, but insisted that the state of emergency should be withdrawn completely and immediately and Article 91(E) of the Representation of the People Order should be suspended.

The Awami League told the government that would will have hardly any reservations if the parliamentary elections are deferred till December 28 ‘to hold an inclusive election’ without making more changes in the electoral process, said sources close to Hasina and Khaleda.

But the government at about 9:00pm on Wednesday said it would hold parliamentary and upazila elections on the dates already announced, December 18 and 28, as talks with the two major political camps led by the Awami League and the BNP failed.

In an immediate reaction at about 10:00pm on Wednesday, the BNP and its allies termed ‘partisan, unacceptable and extreme’ the military-controlled interim government’s decision of holding the suspended elections on December 18 amid the state of emergency.

The alliance has, however, kept avenues open for further negotiations by asking the government to take immediate measures to implement its demands.

In an immediate gesture Wednesday night, the Election Commission extended by three days the deadline for the submission of nomination papers for both the parliamentary and upazilla elections, which was scheduled to expire on Thursday.

The BNP’s secretary general Khandaker Delwar Hossain Thursday morning said, ‘Scopes for talks are still there.’


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

205 Responses to “Political parties, government busy to resolve ‘crisis’ in Bangladesh‏”

  1. Author Image

    Khondkar Abdus Saleque

    Election 08- Return of Bakshal?
    Saleque Sufi
    A front page news quoting a report of Probe has indicated apprehension of certain quarter that if election is held on 18th December 08 BNP and is allies in all probabilities will not participate .Awamil league may win 2/3 majority and the country may go back to 1972 constitution and go back on the route to Bakshal time. The report indicate that Jamat may follow suit of its sponsor BNP although boycotting election may hurt them badly .The massive business investment in Banking and trade may turn into jeopardy , Bangladesh may become easy targets of terrorists.
    The above report is very alarming. The Care Taker Government has taken almost two years to come to this situation. All major political parties were all along pressing hard to early election.BNP; Jamat and alliance were demanding election by October 2008. But as soon as Election Commission and Government declared election schedule for 18 December 08 two months after their earlier demand BNP and allies suddenly realised that they do not have enough time to prepare for the election. They feel that level play ground is not established. Can independent observers conclude that if election could be held in October 08 BNP led front felt level play ground prevailed at that time and they were prepared for It.? Ridiculous. If all parties and fronts other than BNP, Jamat and their tiny satellites can accept election schedule of 18th December 08 why they can not? There are apprehensions that BNP led front because of disintegrated sate of BNP may embarrass disaster u in the election. They feel that they have little chance to win. So they should better abstain or bargain a differed date for the election to regroup. So election should be held only when situation will create for them to win. What a strange strategy! BNP and Front monopolise all sate entities during their rule .The CEC at that time prepared voter list which ha 15 million false voters. The new voter list is much more authentic. Possibility of rigging of votes by false voters has become extremely difficult now. It seems that BNP and front are scared of genuine voters. If Awami League led Pro Liberation front wins election obviously they will rule in accordance to their election pledge and their vision. If they get mandate they may reinstate constitution of 1972. There is nothing wrong in that, 1972 constitution was formulated and approved by elected parliament on the basis of the basic principle and ideals of the liberation war. The defeated force – basically war criminals, anti liberation force could never accept the constitution of 1972. It is only logical that the possibility of pro liberation force to return to state power will cause great concern for the anti liberation force.
    Persons grabbing powers through backdoor – military coup, forming political party utilising state resources and intelligence made several anti people amendments. The constitution even included bill indemnifying the self confessed killers for facing legal actions. The constitution now has almost lost its basic character after several amendments .Pro liberation force could never again get the required majority to take initiative to return to the constitution of 1972. Now with such possibility looming large various speculations are surfacing. Bakhshal concept was however not there in 1972 constitution and parties other than Awami League and even many front en leaders of present Awami League n may no longer subscribe to Bakshal concept. So it is wishful thinking now that election set to be held on 18th December 08 will bring Awami League led front in power with 2/3 majority giving them weapons to amend constitution and bring back pre Bakhshal environment. Situation in 2008 is much different than 1974 but conspiracy against Bangladesh pro Bangladesh force however remains the same. Perhaps the growing demand for trial of war criminals and resisting anti liberation force may have panicked a certain group of political leaders.BNP and front was confident to go for election in October 08 but they are hesitating now What might have happened between October and now that that make them apprehensive? It does not matter whether the situation is such that one party will win election and other can not. Rather we have to judge whether people can vote in a free and fair atmosphere. If a certain political party suffers from internal problems that can not be the reason for delaying and deferring election.
    The present army backed care taker government had to take over state power in very desperate situation when the country was almost in the grip of civil war following violent street confrontation between ruling alliance doing everything nonsense to return to power through naked election engineering and opposition fronts resorting to violent street agitations. The government had to take control under cover of state of emergency. The main task was creating enabling environment for free fair and credible election manage to prepare very authentic voter list .EC also detected and took out about 15 million false voters which is about 10% of our total population. These false voters were seen registered by erstwhile EC which did this to manipulate election for a particular front.EC with the help of Army successfully organised voter I cards with photographs which will go a w long way to eliminate false votes. Several other actions like transparent ballot box, registration of political parties will go a long way to have proper reflection of people’s choice. The law and order situation is also under control .In this situation if one party or front wins election they will obviously be people’s choice. The party winning election will implement their party manifesto. If 1972 constitution is re-establish why we should object. Bangladesh is a secular democracy. Secularism was one of our fundamental pillars of nationhood, one of the ideals of the liberation war. So we may differ but if party or front committed to secularism wins an implement then only those minority groups who exploit innocent citizens misinterpreting religious teachings can object.

    Why people talk about BAKSAL? Many of those who talk do not really know what BAKSAL was. Did anyone ever look into Bakashal’s economic concept? How many leading politicians have through idea about Bakshal? That concept was conceived at a particular time for a particular siatutaion.But the governments after 1975 to 1990 did more harm to the nation making poltics corrupt , bringing politics in Army, police , government offices and Institutions. The war criminals and anti liberation force were allowed to set their roots very deeply on a country that had to pay lot of price to earn liberation.
    Anti Indian slogans, Bakshal myths, frantic cry for Islam may not work now. People are much more informed, more conscious. Political parties must come with pragmatic policies for solving various problems to gain peoples mandate. Identified people as last effort to salvage something may tell many things but sensible people must not worry. People must elect honest and committed individuals irrespective of political ivied to get a proper parliament to shape nations future.

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