Khaleda will have to join polls giving undertaking: Hasina | The Daily Star
04:35 PM, December 07, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 10:02 PM, December 07, 2017

PM rules out possibility of talks with BNP

Key points of PM’s speech

--Khaleda should apologise

--Khaleda to join polls giving undertaking

--Participatory polls to be held

--Trump’s decision on Jerusalem unacceptable

Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today rejected outright any possibility of initiating any talks on the next general elections with her party’s arch-rival Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP).

Describing BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia as a ‘mean-minded person’, Hasina said she does not want to sit with her (Khaleda) saying that in a democratic dispensation “whoever wants can join and whoever wants can boycott the polls.”

She, however, said the BNP will join the next polls rubbing its nose in the dirt as the party would not repeat the same mistake what it did during the past general elections in 2014, in order to avoid its extinction.

“There is no use of requesting me to sit for talks with Khaleda Zia. I don’t butter up any undeserving person,” Hasina told while addressing a press briefing about the outcome of her recent Cambodia visit.

“Even after that I called her [Khaleda] to sit for talks for the sake of democracy but she misbehaved with me. I don’t want to see such behaviour anymore,” she said.      

Ruling AL and country’s principal opposition political party BNP are at opposite ends on the question of the type of election-time government under which a parliamentary poll shall be held.

The ruling Awami League scrapped a system of non-partisan neutral poll-time government in 2011, provisioning that the general elections will be held with the incumbent government in place. 

Accordingly, Sheikh Hasina will head the government when the 11th parliamentary elections will be held in late 2018 or in early 2019.

On the other hand, BNP has been demanding for installation of a non-partisan neutral government to oversee the general elections and for which it boycotted the last general elections, leading to the holding of a lopsided polls on January 5, 2014.

“Every political party should join the next general elections in parliamentary democratic system. The party that doesn’t believe in democracy or doesn’t practice democracy within the party, they would join or not in the next polls, it’s their own decision. We have nothing to do in this regard,” she said.

In her one-hour-long talks to the media, the premier answered different questions from the newsmen mostly over the next general elections.

Most of the newsmen questioned whether the present Sheikh Hasina government would take any initiative or will sit for talks with the country’s major political party BNP in a bid to make the next polls an inclusive one.

No possibility of early polls

When asked about early election, Hasina said election can be held anytime under a parliamentary democratic system. “But I have not plunged into any setback that I will have to go for early election.”

About the next election, Hasina, also president of the ruling Awami League, said a smooth electoral atmosphere will have to be ensured so that people can elect their leader based on their own choice.

“But I want that we will have to remain alert so that no killer or war criminal can be elected in the election,” she added.

‘Khaleda should apologise’

The premier asked Khaleda to apologise before the nation for “her many crimes including August 21 grenade attack”.

“What is mercy? Who have sought the mercy from her (Khaleda)? Khaleda should apologise before the nation as she committed crimes like August 21 grenade attack,” Hasina said responding to a recent remark of Khaleda.

Delivering her self-defence statement before a court in Dhaka on November 9, Khaleda said, “I clearly announced that I have personally forgiven her [Hasina], despite Sheikh Hasina's continuous indecent statements and vengeful behaviour against me and Shaheed Ziaur Rahman's family members. I will not indulge in politics of vengeance against her.”

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