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Jatiya Oikya Front welcomes PM Hasina’s decision to hold dialogue

  • Published at 07:28 pm October 29th, 2018
Jatiya Oikya Front leaders, including Mahmudur Rahman Manna and Zafrullah Chowdhury, at the meeting of the alliance's Steering Committee held at the chamber of BNP Standing Committee member Barrister Moudud Ahmed, first from right, on Monday, October 29. 2018 Dhaka Tribune

The new formed political alliance plans to discuss a number of issues related to the national polls, including reformation of the Election Commission

Jatiya Oikya Front has welcomed and Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina’s decision to hold a dialogue with the newly formed political alliance over the upcoming 11th general election.

The Awami League on Monday afternoon announced that it would hold the talks, a day after Dr Kamal-led Jatiya Oikya Front wrote to the prime minister, urging the ruling party to engage in dialogue.

“We welcome the prime minister’s decision to invite us for a dialogue. We will respond to her call once we are formally notified about the date and time,” said Moudud Ahmed, a top leader of alliance member BNP, hours after the ruling party’s announcement.

He made the statement while talking to reporters after a meeting of the alliance’s Steering Committee in Motijheel, Dhaka.

The BNP Standing Committee member also said that their meeting discussed different polls-related issues, including their demand to have the Election Commission reformed.

He said that they have cancelled their plan to meet commission officials on Tuesday too as the prime minister has accepted their call for a dialogue.

“The dialogue with the prime minister will be held based on new developments,” said Moudud.

Nagorik Oikya Convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD-Rab) President ASM Abdur Rab, and Gono Forum Executive President Subrata Chowdhury were also present at the press briefing, among others.

Several hours earlier, Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader at another press conference had said that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has decided to sit with the Dr Kamal-led coalition and the date and time would be declared soon.

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The decision was taken at an informal meeting of the ruling party leaders following the weekly Cabinet meeting, Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader told reporters at the party president’s political office in Dhaka's Dhanmondi on Monday afternoon.

“We want Jatiya Oikya Front to know that Awami League will join a dialogue with them,” he said. “Prime Minister and party president Sheikh Hasina’s doors are always open to everyone.”

He also stressed that the ruling party was not going to hold talks with Oikya Front leaders due to pressure and this dialogue was not some condition they were meeting before the election.

On Sunday, Jatiya Oikya Front sent letters to the prime minister and Quader, urging the ruling party to engage in dialogue over the national polls.

On October 13, BNP, Gono Forum, Nagorik Oikya and Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD-Rab) together launched the Jatiy Oikya Front.

Since then, they have been pressing the government to their demands, which include holding the general election under an impartial government, release of BNP chief Khaleda Zia and other political prisoners from prison, dissolution of parliament before the announcement of an election schedule, resignation of the government, and no electronic voting machines in the polls.