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Election not to be one-sided if BNP not join: Quader

Staff Reporter:

Awami League (AL) General Secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader yes-terday said the upcoming 12th national election will not be a one-sided one even if BNP does not join it.
“It is not right that the elections will be a one-sided one if BNP does not participate in it. Many will par-ticipate in the polls,” he told journalists after a meeting with the Commonwealth pre-election delegation at Dhaka district AL office at Tejgaon in the capital.
Quader said even if BNP does not join the elections, other parties will participate in the polls.
“How will you ignore them? Participating or not participating in polls is a democratic matter. Many par-ties will finally participate in the elections. It is not fair to say everything for a party and to reach a con-clusion,” he said.
“BNP is carrying out violence or sneak attacks…where is the sanction? The Awami League is in favor of peaceful election, so why will restriction be imposed? Sanction should be imposed against those who obstruct the peaceful elections,” he added.
Replying to a question, the AL general secretary said the AL has no problem if the Election Commission (EC) re-fixes the polls schedule by maintaining its deadline. “The election is under jurisdiction of the EC,” he said.
About seat sharing with the parties under the AL-led 14-party alliance, Quader said there will be no problem with seat sharing with these parties, while candidature will be decided in consultation with the alliance.
Pointing out the AL’s nomination process, he said: “Our nomination process is democratic. We follow democracy within the party. In addition to public opinion poll and the government poll, the Prime Min-ister has her own cell. A candidate who gets the highest total marks is considered for nomination. Con-sidering all things, an acceptable candidate will be nominated.”
About the outcome of the meeting with the Commonwealth pre-election delegation, the AL general sec-retary said the delegation was informed of the revolutionary changes brought in the electoral system un-der the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
“We also informed the delegation of the legal framework and independence of the EC. We asked them which country is perfect in terms of democracy. They could not answer to it too,” he said.
Responding to another query whether the Commonwealth will send observers to Bangladesh, Quader said: “I think they are positive. They might send representatives. It seemed so during the meeting.”
AL presidium member Colonel (Retd) Faruk Khan, convener of the party’s election monitoring sub-committee ambassador Md Ziauddin, its member secretary Wasika Ayesha Khan, AL information and research secretary Salim Mahmud and AL office secretary Biplab Barua were, among others, present.

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