BNP briefs diplomats: No polls sans freeing Khaleda

BNP briefs diplomats: No polls sans freeing Khaleda

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Dhaka, Aug 7 – The BNP will not take part in the next general elections without freeing party chairperson Khaleda Zia, creating a level playing field, the formation of an election time neutral administration, dissolution of Parliament and deployment of the army during the polls. The party leaders made this stance clear while briefing diplomats from different countries including the United States at chairperson’s Gulshan office yesterday evening, according to meeting sources.
The party leaders also briefed the diplomats from 13 countries about the ‘vote riggings in assistance with police and administration’ in the just concluded three city corporations in Rajshahi, Barishal and Sylhet, and the attacks on agitating students for safe road and journalists who were covering the events.
The BNP leaders handed over video footage and paper cuttings on the stealing votes in the city polls and ‘police and Chhatra League activists’ attacks and repression’ on the agitating students and journalists leaving many of them injured.
The BNP also expressed deep concern over the attack on US Ambassador to Bangladesh Marcia Bernicat’s vehicle by armed men in the capital’s Mohammadpur area on Saturday.
Sources said as BNP leaders highlighted the election manipulation during the city polls, some diplomats wanted to know whether they (BNP) would take part in the next national elections.
In their reply, party secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir categorically said that they won’t take part in the election without Khaleda Zia who is now serving five years in jail in a graft case.
Besides, he said they also want to create a level playing field, formation an election-time neutral government, and dissolution of parliament and deployment of the army during the polls, sources added.
A BNP leader preferring anonymity also said all the national issues including the three city polls, peaceful students agitations for safe roads, attack on the agitating students and attack on a vehicle carrying the US ambassador came up in the hour-long discussion since 4:15 pm.
BNP leaders- Dr Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Barrister Moudud Ahmed, Mirza Abbas, Abdul Moin Khan, Goyeshwar Chandra Roy, Nazrul Islam Khan, Barrister Rafiqul Islam Miah, Barrister Rumin Farhana, among others, were present at the meeting.
Ambassadors, high commissioners and representatives from 13 countries including USA, UK, Australia, France, European Union, Germany, Canada, Kuwait and Pakistan were present at the briefing. – Staff Reporter

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