'Talks option still open,' says Hasina

‘Talks option still open,’ says Hasina


Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said talks with the opposition over the form of election-time government can take place in Parliament.

“We are always ready for dialogue and it can take place if they (the opposition) forward a proposal,” she said on Wednesday.

The BNP-led opposition and the ruling Awami League are at loggerheads over nature of polls-time government.

As per the Constitution, the incumbent government will supervise the election which the opposition fears will not be ‘free and fair’.

The opposition has been waging street agitation pressing for restoration of the caretaker provision, scrapped through the 15th Amendment.

“Let them join Parliament sessions and move an adjournment proposal…Our door is always open for talk,” said the Prime Minister while exchanging Eid-ul-Azha greetings with people at the Ganabhaban in Dhaka.

Chances of a political confrontation now seem imminent as the two leading parties have repeatedly denied budging an inch from their stances.

Opposition Leader Khaleda Zia has warned that polls without a non-party caretaker government will be thwarted and has threatened to stay away from it.

Hasina, on the other hand, has affirmed that her government will oversee the election.

The Constitution stipulates the holding of a general election within the last 90 days of the government’s tenure. So, in this case, the polls must take place between Oct 25 and Jan 24, 2014.

She dubbed the opposition’s ‘threat’ to launch a countrywide movement to oust the government ‘baseless’.

“Oct 25 has no significance. There’s no chance to create hype [over the date],” she said.

Hasina said Parliament session would extend till the poll schedule was announced. She urged the people to be alert against any attempt to disrupt the country’s peace and stability.

“We have found some evidence of [attempts to create]unrest in the country at a Chittagong madrasa.

“…There will be no unrest if the Opposition Leader does not create any,” the Prime Minister said taking a dig at her arch political rival.

Khaleda, in her Eid message, had said the people of Bangladesh would not be able to celebrate properly in the present situation, in an obvious poke at the government.

Awami League President Hasina and BNP Chairperson Khaleda, both in their mid-60s, have alternated as Prime Minister since the restoration of democracy in the early ’90s. – bdnews24.com


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