Running train of unilateral polls needs to be stopped: Dr Kamal
No legal barrier to deferring election schedule, he tells TarancoNew Age Online
A delegation of civil society members, led by Dr Kamal Hossain, at a meeting with visiting UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Oscar Fernández Taranco on Sunday said the running train of the one-sided election needs to be stopped, reports UNB.
The delegates also conveyed the UN envoy that there is no legal barrier to deferring the election schedule for the 10th parliamentary polls.
The nearly one-and-a-half-hour meeting that began around 2:30pm was held at a city hotel.
The other members of the delegation are Dr Badiul Alam Majumder, Prof Jamilur Reza Chowdhury and Dr Shahdeen Malik.
Emerging from the meeting, Dr Kamal, also a noted jurist, told reporters, “Nobody wants a one-sided election…what’s happening now is unexpected…we told them that the train of holding a one-sided election needs to be stopped.”
Dr Kamal said they also said they all want a free, fair and credible election with the participation of all parties. “We need a peaceful election. We must have that patience to have a peaceful election…They (UN) also want a peaceful and acceptable election with the participation of all parties in Bangladesh.”
Mentioning that violence will not help find a solution, the veteran politician said they think a compromise can yield a positive outcome. “As per the law, I think it’s possible to defer the election schedule. I conveyed it to them (UN team),” he further said.
Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad on November 25 announced the schedule for the general election fixing the voting date for January 5 amid BNP’s boycott threat.
Dr Kamal said, “We are working to help political parties to reach a consensus…we’ll continue to work for helping them reach a consensus. “Nobody wants a one-sided election…what’s happening now is unexpected.”
Badiul Alam Majumdar said the election schedule can be deferred if they (political parties) can reach a consensus. The EC has already mentioned it twice.
Shahdeen Malik said they want an election with the participation of all and it must be peaceful. “We want it…the UN and the entire world wants a peaceful and participatory election.”
Replaying to a question whether the UN envoy told them about any formula for resolving the political crisis, he said the UN team did not come up with any formula.
Meanwhile, Taranco’s meeting with a Jamaat delegation schedule to be held at 4:30 pm has been postponed.
Taranco arrived here on Friday evening amid the country’s murky political situation that has cast a shadow on its January-5 general election.
His visit is aimed at encouraging ‘dialogue and conditions’ conducive to parliamentary elections scheduled for January 5, said a statement issued by UN Resident Coordinator in Dhaka, Neal Walker.
The UN envoy had meetings with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Opposition leader Khaleda Zia Saturday evening.
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