She assures the parties that the general election will be held in a democratic manner
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has welcomed all political parties’ decision to take part in the upcoming 11th general election.
She made the remarks on Sunday hours after the BNP-led 20-Party Alliance and Jatiya Oikya Front announced that they would be contesting in the polls, slated for December 23.
Hasina, also the Awami League chief, was speaking at the ruling party’s Parliamentary Selection Board meeting held at its central office at Bangabandhu Avenue, Dhaka in the afternoon.
She assured all the parties that the election would be held in a democratic manner.
"We will give special attention to ensure participation of all parties in the election. We also want the election to be held in a free, fair and neutral manner. Because, we know those whoever get the people's mandate will form the government," she added.
Earlier in the day, the BNP-led 20-Party Alliance and the Jatiya Oikya Front announced that they would be contesting in the election, but demanded deferment of the polls by one month.
Hasina said that only the competent leaders of the ruling party would be nominated in all 300 constituencies.
"We want the democratic trend to continue in the country. We will contest the election alongside everyone else. We will make the arrangements so that people can cast their vote as per their choice.”
She further added that if Awami League contested the election in alliance, then some seats would be given to the candidates of its alliance partners.
The Awami League Parliamentary Selection Board members, including Obaidul Quader, Amir Hossain Amu, Tofail Ahmed, Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim and Rashedul Alam, had attended Sunday’s meeting.
The prime minister also said that they had discussed the ways to hold a free and participatory election during the dialogues Awami League held with different parties between November 1 and 7.
She said a total of 234 leaders from 70 political parties and alliances had taken part in the talks.
Mentioning she held two rounds of talks with Dr Kamal Hossain-led Jatiya Oikya Front, Hasina said: "They had placed seven demands and we have accepted much of the five demands."
"I would like to welcome all as they have given opinion in favour of participation in the election," she added.
Noting that Bangladesh was marching forward, she said Awami League always wanted the continuation of the country’s current development trend and it would in no way be stopped.