News Desk: Chief election commissioner Kazi Habibul Awal on Wednesday said that the Election Commission would wait for the main opposition Bangladesh National Party even though the party had turned down its invitation to join the ongoing dialogue over the next general election.
‘We [EC] will wait for BNP,’ he said while speaking to the media after holding dialogue with Ganatantri Party at the Nirbachan Bhaban in Dhaka.
BNP was invited to join the dialogue on the day, but the party rejected the invitation.
Addressing a party rally in front of the National Press Club, BNP standing committee member Mirza Abbas said that they did not go to the dialogue because the party had no trust in the Election Commission.
‘We did not go to the dialogue because we do not know the Election Commission, do not understand the Election Commission, do not accept the Election Commission,’ he said.
The CEC did not make any comment when asked if they would take any special initiative to bring BNP to the dialogue.
Among 14 political parties invited in past four days, 11 responded to the EC’s invitations.
Apart from BNP, the BNP-led alliance partner Bangladesh Muslim League and Kalyan Party boycotted the dialogue.
Awal claimed that the attitude of the parties that had participated in the dialogue was quite positive.
‘They want good elections. The parties asked to ensure voters exercising their rights to vote,’ he said, adding that the commission was looking for cooperation from all the stakeholders to conduct a fair election.
‘Everyone is talking about unity. There may or may not be unity. We will continue our efforts,’ he added.
Abbas said at the rally, organised by the party’s Dhaka north and south city units, that dissolution of this parliament is a must before the next election.
‘We want this government not to exist, this parliament not to exist. Dissolution of this parliament is a must and we will join in the election under a new government as well as a new Election Commission,’ he said.
Abbas said that BNP appreciated the chief election commissioner’s recent comments of inviting the party repeatedly to dialogue.
‘BNP will be called again and again because without BNP you cannot hold elections. Not only has the CEC, no one in Bangladesh can hold elections without BNP,’ he said.
‘Those, who will try to go to this election will not be spared anywhere, he said, adding that BNP would not give concessions to this failed and corrupt government under any circumstance.
‘Enough is enough. Now forgive the people of Bangladesh for the sake of Allah. Relinquish power, hold fair elections, then if you [Awami League] win the election, we will appreciate you,’ he added.
Several central and city unit BNP leaders also spoke in the programme where several hundreds of BNP leaders and activists joined.