There have been several reports based on statements by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and other Cabinet members that the 11th parliamentary elections may be held earlier than scheduled. Is this speculation accurate?
Not at all. The media houses who have published such reports have done it based on their own opinion, not any decision made by the government or the Awami League.
As per the constitution, the next election is expected to be held between October 2018 and January 2019 – the last 90 days of the current government. The prime minister will likely dissolve the 10th parliament in October-November 2018.
How is the Awami League preparing for the next polls?
Our party chief and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has already instructed both the existing lawmakers and the grassroots leaders of the party to start the preparations. She has asked them to resolve all internal conflicts, if there are still any, in all the constituencies.
The party chief has also asked party leaders to highlight the success of the Awami League government in the last eight and a half years before the people.
Besides, we are conducting some surveys and opinion polls on the performances of the Awami League MPs. Nominations for the upcoming elections will be given based on the results of those surveys and polls.
There have been reports that some of the existing Awami League lawmakers may not get the ticket to the 2019 elections. Is it right?
The Awami League is the largest political party in the country, so it is natural that getting party nomination for the general elections in 300 constituencies will be difficult; it is a competitive process. Simply put, the MPs who have performed well will get party nomination again; those who have failed to perform satisfactorily will not.
Does the Awami League plan to take part in the polls by itself in all 300 constituencies this time, or does it plan to continue with the coalition?
We will continue with the 14-party alliance if the BNP takes part in the polls as a part of the 20-party alliance. If they boycott the polls, Awami League will nominate its own candidates in all 300 constituencies.
Will the BNP take part in the elections if it is held under Sheikh Hasina's supervision?
The BNP policymakers realised that it was a mistake to boycott the 2014 elections, so we hope they will contest the next elections.
What if the BNP starts another movement to protest the polls under Sheikh Hasina's supervision like they did before the 2014 elections?
I do not think it will happen as the BNP lost their popularity to a great extent for their violent movement before the 2014 polls. They have been criticised for their destructive politics and for the attacks on innocent people.
If they try to repeat the same mistake, their very existence may be at stake.
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