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Ershad orders nomination withdrawal by Dec 13

JP ministers stay away from cabinet meeting

Staff Correspondent

Jatiya Party chairman HM Ershad on Monday ordered his party’s candidates to withdraw nomination papers for the 10th national polls by December 13.
As per the Election Commission announced schedule, December 13 is the last date for withdrawal of nomination papers for the election for January 5.
Ershad said that he was invited to join the funeral of Nelson Mandela at Johannesburg but he has decided not to leave the country amid volatile situation.
‘JP will not contest in the January 5 election without participation of all parties including BNP,’ Ershad told newsmen at the waiting room of his Baridhara residence in the afternoon.
On December 3, Ershad announced that he was boycotting the January 5 election due to lack of favourable atmosphere and the polls being a non-inclusive one.
Brushing aside media reports claiming 100 seats in parliament would be given to JP if it contests, Ershad said his party would not join the polls even if 200 seats were given to them.
‘I will not be used as a ladder for any party to go to power,’ Ershad said, adding, ‘I have directed all of my candidates to withdraw nomination papers by December 13.’
Ershad also told newsmen that JP ministers tried to submit their resignation letters over the last three days but the prime minister was not available for an appointment.
He alleged that his men approached PM’s adviser for defence affairs Tarique Ahmed Siddiqui with the letters, but even he refused to accept those.
Ershad said being an army personnel, he did not want to get into any trouble.
‘I was also invited to join the funeral of Nelson Mandela at Johannesburg, but I have decided not to leave the country amid such a volatile situation. People will misunderstand me,’ the former military dictator said, adding, ‘Though our president is leaving the country for attending the funeral.’
On November 18, Ershad announced that JP has decided to leave the Awami League-led ruling alliance but six JP leaders – four ministers and two state ministers – as well as adviser to the prime minister were sworn in on the same day in the interim cabinet.
Meanwhile, cabinet secretary M Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan on Monday told newsmen that the ministers will remain in their positions until the president issues a gazette notification after receiving the resignation letters from the ministers.
None of JP ministers attended the cabinet meeting on Monday.

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