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Dhaka Tribune

AL scraps Jan 2 polls rally

Update : 30 Dec 2013, 08:08 PM

The ruling Awami League has cancelled its January 2 rally at the capital’s Suhrawardy Udyan because holding it would violate the Election Commission’s electoral code of conduct.

Instead, the party will arrange campaigns in the electoral constituencies in the capital, in which party chief and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will take part.

Awami League Office Secretary Mrinal Kanti Das confirmed to the Dhaka Tribune that the rally was not taking place.

“EC rules do not permit rallies in capacious places [so close to the national elections]. For holding a rally, we will also have to use loudspeakers and build a big stage. The EC code of conduct does not allow that either,” Mrinal said.

A couple of days ago, Sheikh Hasina expressed her desire to stage a major showdown by holding a big rally at the Suhrawardy Udyan before the January 5 elections, party insiders said.

Mrinal also said on January 1, the party chief would attend campaigns in favour of party candidates at Kafrul, Pallabi and Uttara. The next day, she would attend two election rallies in two other constituencies in the capital.

Party sources said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in her address to the nation on Friday would explain why holding the January 5 elections was mandatory from the constitution’s point of view. She would also highlight the initiatives taken by the government to make sure that the opposition parties joined the elections and in the wake of the ongoing political turmoil.

This will be Sheikh Hasina’s last address to the nation during her current term in office.

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