PM sets conditions for fresh polls

She says ready to dissolve '10th parliament' if BNP shuns violence, cuts ties with Jamaat


Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said a fresh election would be held after dissolving the 10th parliament if an understanding is reached, but for that to happen the BNP must shun violence and sever ties with the Jamaat-e-Islami.
Without specifying how long it will take before the next parliament is dissolved, Hasina said the process for the 10th general election on January 5 has already started and the BNP would not be able to participate in it.
However, the main opposition BNP says it is hard to believe that the AL, “which wants to go to power through a farcical election”, will step down shortly.
Talking to The Daily Star, Nazrul Islam Khan, the party’s standing committee member, last night said there was no indication of political goodwill in the prime minister’s speech.
Addressing a joint meeting of the AL Central Working Committee and advisory council at Gono Bhaban, Sheikh Hasina said, “The election process has already started. She [Khaleda Zia] has missed the train. She won’t be able to participate in the election.”
But, the prime minister said, discussions between the AL and BNP will continue even after the January 5 polls.
“If we reach a consensus through talks and if she [Khaleda] stops hartal, blockade and repression, then after this election we will hold another after dissolving parliament.”