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Jatiya Party (JP) Chairman HM Ershad-led United National Alliance (UNA) has submitted its eight-point demand to the Election Commission that includes the announcement of the election schedule on the due date.
A Sammilita Jatiya Jote team of 15 led by Jatiya Party Chairman Ershad met EC officials for an hour-long meeting that started at 11.15am on Wednesday. Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda and other election commissioners were present at the meeting.
“The meeting has been successful and they have agreed with us on most of the demands. We want the election schedule to be announced on Nov 8,” Jatiya Party Secretary General ABM Ruhul Amin Howlader told reporters following the meeting.
“As far as I know, there won’t be any more dialogue. It’s illogical to defer the election date with an excuse of dialogue,” said Howlader.
The alliance recommended making the nomination forms easier. Other recommendations include freeing the election from the influence of black money, effective measures in stopping the use of firearms in the election and efforts to prevent violence during the election campaign.
The alliance also demanded restrictions on motorcycles or cars and deployment of the army as a striking force. But it opposed the idea of providing the army with magisterial authority, Howlader had earlier said following their meeting with Hasina on Monday.
“The people still have hesitation and confusion over the use of EVMs in the election. The voters are not used to it although it is a modern voting system. It needs more scrutiny before being used. And it needs time to earn the voters’ trust,” Howlader said.
“The EC has to work independently and ensure a fair, neutral and constitutional election. It has agreed on most of our issues.”
Mentionable, all the opposition parties and alliances have demanded for holding the general election under a nonpartisan government and dissolution of the parliament ahead of it.
However, ruling Awami League has repeatedly asserted that it will keep to the constitution – meaning that the election will be held under its government.
Apart from this major issue, there are several other major demands, like the release of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia from jail and use of electronic voting.
Also, the opposition parties have been accusing the Election Commission of subservience to the government and walking the path as instructed to it.
Earlier on November 4, Election Commission announced that it will be announcing the complete election schedule on November 8.
The schedule will include the dates of collecting nomination, submitting nomination, scrutinising the nominations and withdrawal of nominations.
According to what is being said, the general election is likely to be held in December.
The first round of dialogue, held after a letter of interest from the Oikyafront, was held on November 1. Oikyafront said they were not happy with it.
Now, a second round of talks with the ruling alliance, with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair, is being held in Gono Bhaban today.
Meanwhile, Awami League has held talks with Jatiya Party and Bikalpa Dhara-led alliance Juktofront, Islamic Democratic Alliance and Left Democratic Alliance.