AL shared seats with parties through ‘compromise’: Hasina

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said her party has reached a compromise with the other parties in the “polls-time government” over sharing parliamentary seats.
“We’ve withdrawn candidatures from some seats in liaison with other parties,” she told a discussion in the capital’s Krishibid Institution auditorium in the afternoon.
She claimed that the nomination papers were withdrawn to ensure a “congenial atmosphere” during the January 5 election.
The AL, added Hasina, would have conceded a “walkover” to the BNP in some constituencies if it had joined the “all-party polls-time government.” “We would have done that in the interest of the country, its democracy and the constitution.”
People might think it is unusual to have such a huge number of candidates elected unopposed, she noted.
In this connection, she said the ruling party candidates have withdrawn their candidatures in those constituencies where the political parties have had a compromise.
The PM mentioned that she had requested the opposition leader to come forward for a compromise, but the latter refused.
“I had offered her [Khaleda Zia over the phone] to join the all-party election-time government. I was ready to give her any ministry she wanted to have,” added Hasina.
“My intention was to ensure a congenial atmosphere for the election where there would be no killing and anarchy,” pointed out the AL chief.
She said each time there was a national election, there was an arrangement to tackle the situation on ad hoc basis. “There was no permanent solution to it. At least we need a permanent solution.”
She insisted that she wanted to introduce the system practiced in other democracies around the world, where elections are held as per constitutional provisions.
The Jamaat, said the PM, cannot contest the election due to a court verdict. “It’s BNP’s prerogative to boycott the election. But people won’t accept their demand for halting the trial of the war crimes accused Jamaat leaders.”
Without naming anyone, Hasina said, “You may mount pressure on me and get phone calls made to me by influential quarters. But I’ll never compromise with the expectations of the people of Bangladesh.”
The AL hosted the discussion marking the Martyred Intellectuals Day.
AL advisory council members Amir Hossain Amu and Tofail Ahmed, senior leaders Matia Chowdhury, Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya, Jahangir Kabir Nanak and AFM Bahauddin Nasim, among others, took part in the discussion, chaired by AL presidium member Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury.