Friday, January 5, 2007

Khaleda urges public to ignore election boycott

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday said the election must be held on January 22 as per the election commission schedule regardless of who participates in it or not. She also urged all to ignore the polls boycott announcement of the grand alliance and complete the election process to avoid any constitutional crisis. While addressing public meetings and roadside rallies during her daylong election campaign in Gazipur and Mymensingh, the BNP chief asked all to exercise their citizens' rights by participating in the polls.

She addressed rallies on Sreepur Pilot High School ground seeking votes for BNP candidate Tanvir Ahmed Siddiqui, Bhaluka Degree College ground for BNP nominee Fakhruddin Bachchu, Kazi Nazrul Islam College ground in Trishal for Dr Mahbubur Rahman Liton and Circuit House ground at Mymensingh for Delwar Hossain Khan. Thousands gathered at the rallies in processions chanting slogans. Many turned up with sheaves of paddy, portraits of Begum Zia and late president Ziaur Rahman and colourful banners on the very first day of Khaleda Zia's election campaign.

Begum Zia said "Awami League (AL) decided to stay away from the polls as their corrupt accomplices have been disqualified for the election," urging the people to participate in the election to foil all conspiracies against the country. She added that they are boycotting the election because they know they could not win." Khaleda criticised the AL-led grand alliance's blockade programme on January 7-8 and alleged that they (AL) are engaged in ruining the economy of the country and turning it into a satellite state of another country.

Meanwhile President and Chief Adviser (CA) Iajuddin Ahmed did not convene any meeting of the council of advisers to the caretaker government in the last two days although the advisers were waiting to sit together to find ways to resolve the political crisis centring the upcoming parliamentary election. Iajuddin however continued his efforts to hold the election set for January 22, instead of initiating any move to ensure participation of all political parties in the polls by resolving the crisis.

Since the alliance's announcement, the advisers have been discussing among themselves possible ways to overcome the crisis. But they cannot initiate any move in this regard before a meeting of the council is held, sources pointed out. The advisers are also discussing whether it is possible to seek opinion of the Supreme Court (SC) on holding the election by extending the 90-day time limit since dissolution of the immediate past parliament. But they were not sure if they could take a fresh initiative to resolve the crisis as the president seemed indifferent to this, sources said.

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