Seal deal for polls plan change: CEC
Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad
urged the two major political parties of
Bangladesh, who are still at loggerheads
over the polls-time dispensation, to
compromise in public interest.
His launched the appeal speaking to
reporters around 9:30pm on Monday on his
way out of office in Dhaka.
Filing of nomination papers for the
general elections ended in the afternoon
while several election offices were
attacked during the Opposition’s
No-one from the BNP and its allies in
the Opposition submitted nomination to
run for Parliament.
As the deadline to submit nominations
ended on Monday according to the
election roadmap, no-one else will be
able to contest parliamentary polls.
“But we are still hopeful [of the
Opposition joining polls]. Everything is
possible if there is a positive and
definite outcome and an agreement is
reached,” Ahmad said.
He was asked whether there was any
chance of the schedule being altered as
the BNP-led coalition stayed off the
Barely an hour earlier, Leader of the
Opposition Khaleda Zia had urged the
government to come to an agreement. She
said the door to reconciliation with the
government to end the political deadlock
was still open.
The BNP Chairperson in a statement also
urged the EC to suspend the election
schedule according to which the polls
will take place on Jan 5.
The CEC had a meeting with other
election commissioners before he left
the office around 9:30pm. He also met UN
Resident Coordinator in Dhaka Neil
Walker earlier in the day.
The people only wanted a peaceful
election, Ahmad said. “I’m still urging
both parties to come forward. Find a
solution to the crisis through dialogue.
Give people a chance to choose their
The Opposition is enforcing shutdowns
and blockades to push for a non-party
polls-time government, while the Awami
League-led government is preparing to
hold the election after constituting an
‘all-party’ interim cabinet.
Ahmad urged both Awami League-led Grand
Alliance and BNP-led 18-Party alliance
to compromise. “Both parties must come
forth. To reach an agreement,
compromises must be made.”
“If no one comes forward, there will be
no settlement. This is not the sign of
Asked how by many days voting would be
deferred if both parties were to reach
the agreement, the CEC said, “We will
see about that after they reach an
agreement. We will take all out
When asked whether it would be possible
to hold the election by Jan 24
constitutional deadline, he said,
“Everything is possible if there is an
agreement. Let’s see what happens.”
tracks uprooted in Ctg
The incident happened at Borotakia in
Chittagong's Mirsharai Upazila, said
Railway Police OC Yaseen Faruk.
Chittagong Railway Station's manager
Shamsul Alam said train services on the
route has not stopped as tracks of the
'down-line' was only uprooted.
The trains are moving on the other
The Dhaka bound 'Shubarana Express' and
'Mahanagar Provati' left Chittagong in
the morning, he said.
Train services on Ctg-Dhaka and
Ctg-Sylhet routes had resumed Monday
afternoon after being snapped for almost
22 hours as fishplates were removed in
candidates in the fray