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Inclusive polls not possible without BNP, says CEC

Published : Saturday, 3 February, 2018 at 12:00 AM  Count : 403

With the ruling Awami League not inclined to open talks with the BNP over the next national election, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda considers the party's participation important for an all-inclusive polls.
"BNP is a major political party; how is it going to be an all-inclusive without them? That will not be the case without BNP," he told the media.
Huda's remarks came on Friday at Nirbachan Bhaban in the city after theAwami League collected its nomination paper for the presidential election.
The ruling party has chosen to float incumbent President Md Abdul Hamid as its candidate.
An optimistic Huda said, "We still hope that all political parties, including the BNP will take part in the parliamentary election."
BNP leaders have been claiming that the Awami League wants to keep them out of the polls.
The Awami League, however, says as a political party, it's the BNP duty to take part in the elections and that they are not responsible for persuading them.
In 2011, the Awami League annulled the caretaker government provision through the 15th constitutional amendment, when the BNP raised a movement for a 'non-partisan polls-time' administration.
The 10th national election was held under the Hasina-led administration in 2014, which the BNP boycotted.
With the next election about a year away, the BNP now demands a neutral polls-time administration, but is yet to come up with an outline of it.
In her Jan 12 address to the nation, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina hinted at a polls-time smaller cabinet.
The BNP then proposed to open talks on it, but Hasina turned it down.
Addressing the parliament on Wednesday, she once again brushed aside the BNP's demand.
With tensions running high on the political scene ahead of a verdict in a graft case against party chief Khaleda Zia, the BNP claims it to be a government plot to keep her out of the polls.
A Dhaka court is expected to deliver its verdict in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case on Feb 8.
Khaleda faces up to life in prison if found guilty of the charges brought by the Anti-Corruption Commission. A criminal conviction will mean the former prime minister will not be able to take part in the upcoming national election.    —

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