On condition of anonymity, speaking to Prothom Alo, the main leader of a party, which is included in the 14-party alliance, said the president has power. It does not seem he will do anything outside of Awami League. He may give assurance and try to keep the political environment peaceful. But the choice of the ruling party will be considered in the formation of the election commission.

There is a discussion in the political arena that previous two election commissions (2012 and 2017) were formed with the people to the choice of Awami League and their partner parties.

Both of the election commissions are controversial and have been criticised.

Meanwhile, the one-sided and voter-less national election of 5 January 2014 has been taken to question at home and abroad.

And about the 11th parliament election held on 30 December 2018, the opposition parties have been alleging huge irregularities and forgery. The tenure of the present election commission ends on 14 February 2022.

A section of leaders of Awami League central committee think the political activities come to the table if the president starts dialogue. And the political unrest will decrease. The chaos the Bangladesh Nationalist Party is trying to create in the political arena will be checked.

About the dialogue, president's press secretary Md Joynal Abedin said letters have been sent to the Jatiya Party and JSD.

Multiple sources of anti-government parties said they are not expecting a fair election environment and an acceptable election from dialogues of the president.

The process is on to send letters to other parties by Sunday or Monday.

He said dialogues will be held with a party first. Later, dialogues may be held with more than one party.

Multiple sources of anti-government parties said they are not expecting a fair election environment and an acceptable election from dialogues of the president.

Rather the political environment is depending on who are being included in the search committee and how far this committee is giving the importance on the opinion of the opposition political parties. BNP has taken to the streets demanding the treatment of Khaleda Zia abroad. Under such circumstances, the anti-government political parties will get scope to come to closer if they don't get any positive guidelines on the formation of the election commission. Then the opportunity to put pressure on the government will increase.

Eight members of Jatiya Party will join dialogue

Jatiya Party will sit in a dialogue with the president at 4:00pm on Monday. JSD has been invited to join dialogue on Wednesday.

About the dialogue, JaPa secretary general Mujibul Haque said they with hold a dialogue themselves on Saturday. Their party policy is to join the dialogue invited by the president.

He said there will be eight members in the JaPa delegation. When asked whether they would come up with any specific proposal, he said they will discuss the matter on Saturday's meeting.

There are 39 registered political parties in the country. It is not yet certain whether all registered political parties will be invited to join the dialogues.

Sources said earlier, the president invited 31 political parties. Considering importance, these political parties may be invited this time too.

Ahead of formation of the election commission in 2016, the president invited ten or more representatives of main political parties.

JSD president Hasanul Haq Inu confirmed that they received a letter from the president office. He said they are in favour of a law and rules for the formation of the election commission in accordance with the constitution.

But as there is no time now, they will extend cooperation to the president to form a strong election commission through the search committee, he said adding the preparation for the dialogue will be taken in a meeting within a day or two.

There are two more years to hold the next parliament election. The government will try to show an environment of negotiation by engaging the opposition parties in the political process over the formation of the election commission. On the contrary, the opposition parties will take it as an opportunity to launch a movement or put pressure on the government over the formation of the election commission ahead of the next election.

About this, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said, "We do not expect anything from the dialogue. Fair election is not possible without a non-party and neutral government. This is the stance of BNP."

BNP is yet not invited by the president's office, Fakhrul said adding the matter will be discussed in the party if they receive a letter. After that, the decision to join or not to join, Fakhrul said.

*This report, originally published in Prothom Alo print edition, has been rewritten in English by Rabiul Islam.

Read more from Politics
Post Comment