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Kamal, B Chy-led greater national unity kicks off  

Published : Sunday, 16 September, 2018 at 12:00 AM  Count : 143

Eminent jurist Dr Kamal Hossian announcing the formation of ‘greater national unity’ at a press conference at the National Press Club in the capital on Saturday.	photo : Observer

Eminent jurist Dr Kamal Hossian announcing the formation of ‘greater national unity’ at a press conference at the National Press Club in the capital on Saturday. photo : Observer

Dr Kamal Hossain-led Jatiya Oikya Prokriya and AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury-led Jukta Front on Saturday formally announced the journey of a 'greater national unity'. Dr Kamal, also president of Gano Forum, made the announcement at a press conference at the National Press Club. The newly formed alliance placed a five-point demand to the ruling Awami League (AL) for the formation of an election-time neutral government to hold the upcoming the national elections in a free, fair and credible manner.

Speaking at the press conference, Kamal Hossain said, "We the Jukta Front and Jatiya Oikya Prokriya are announcing a joint declaration of a greater national unity which will unite the people from all walks of life. We'll create the unity at every locality, every village and every house, so that people can get back the ownership of their country."

He further said, "The greater national unity begins from today (Saturday). I hope our unity will yield a very positive outcome with people's support, and a functional democracy will be restored in the country." Jukta Front Chairman Badruddoza Chowdhury could not be present there as he fell sick on the way to the National Press Club. Nagarik Oikya Convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna read out the five-point demand at the press conference.

The demands are:
Forming a neutral government to ensure equal opportunities for all the parties after the dissolution of parliament before the announcement of the schedule for national elections and forming the new government in consultation with all the political parties; and members of the election-time government will have to be barred from participating in the election. Constituting a new election commission with acceptable persons to ensure a free, fair and neutral election after discussions with all the political parties; and allowing all the media to exercise freedom of speech while the political parties the full right to hold rallies.

Withdrawing the false cases filed against leaders and activists of all the political parties, including students who led the "quota reform" and "safe road" movements, and releasing the detainees. And not to arrest any political leaders and activists of any political party until the election is over.

Deployment of army, magistrates and law enforcement agencies in each election area and allowing the election commission to exercise its full authority over law enforcement agencies one month before and 10 days after the elections. Dropping the idea of using EVMs in the elections and amending the Representation of the People Order (RPO) 1972 to create a level-playing field for all political parties. The two platforms also placed a nine-point declaration ahead of the upcoming general elections scheduled to be held at the end of December.

About the nine-point declaration, they said balance of power among the parliament, government, president and prime minister will have to be ensured for holding the next general elections in an inclusive and credible manner, they said. Before placing the demands, leaders of the new alliance wanted to visit Central Shaheed Miner to place wraths, but police prevented them. Later, they returned to the National Press Club.  On August 20, Jukto Front, a coalition of three political parties -- BDB, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD) and Nagarik Oikya, chairman and former president AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury and Gano Forum president Kamal Hossain announced to forge an alliance of greater 'unity' in the 'interest of the nation'.

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