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AL, BNP place proposals for inclusive polls

Staff Correspondent

The ruling Awami League and opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party in their third round of meeting on Friday placed their respective proposals for holding the 10th parliamentary election in a free, fair and credible manner.
BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir led a four-member delegation at the talks at an office of UNDP at Gulshan 2 while AL general secretary Syed Ashraful Islam led a four-member team. The meeting started at about 4:00pm and continued for about two hours. Neil Walker, the UN resident representative in Dhaka, was present in the meeting.
After the talks, Syed Ashraful Islam told reporters that they had held detailed discussions with the opposition to reach a consensus for holding a participatory and fair election.
‘In the meeting they [BNP leaders] have placed some proposals. We have also raised our proposals. A decision will come after we discuss the proposals in our respective party forums,’ he said.   
Syed Ashraf skipped the question whether the meeting was fruitful and left the venue.
Mirza Fakhrul told reporters that it was the third round of talks between the two political parties since last Tuesday in a bid to hold a free, fair and inclusive election acceptable to all.
He said that the BNP side had made some ‘specific proposals’ for holding an inclusive election. He said the AL side had also placed some proposals and the BNP would discuss the ruling party’s proposals in the party’s policymaking forum.
He did not mention any of the proposals made by either side despite being pressed by reporters.
Meeting sources said the proposals placed by the BNP included postponement of the election schedule without delay, release of the leaders and activists of the opposition, particularly senior leaders, withdrawal of cases and a halt to arrest and repression by law enforcers, withdrawal of restrictions on peaceful rallies and processions and lifting of the police siege of the BNP central office.  
The AL proposals included stopping the killing of people by enforcing strikes and blockades and offering the BNP vital ministries in the current polls-time cabinet.
The next such meeting would be held on Saturday, the sources said.
Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Abdul Moyeen Khan and Shamsher Mobin Chowdhury were on the BNP delegation while Amir Hossain Amu, Tafail Ahmed and Gowhar Rizvi were on the AL team.

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