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Chief Adviser’s address, declaration of election date and immediate reactions May 13, 2008

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Chief Adviser of Bangladesh Caretaker Government Dr. Fakhruddin Ali Ahmedin a televised address[Summary][Full text] last night has given his given his long waited speech where it was supposed that he would touch political dialogue, national election by December, withdrawal of the emergency rule,necessary reform in the political parties, continuation of the constitutional reforms etc. In his address he touched most of the points except the release or participation of Hasina and Khaleda Zia in the dialogue.

Interestingly he himself highlighted some of the points of his speech:

1. The election for the ninth parliament will be held in the third week of December this year.

2. We will start the formal dialogue with the political parties of the country from May 22.

3. The ban on indoor politics across the country will be lifted tomorrow.

4. According to the necessity, we will suspend or relax the relevant sections of the emergency rules and regulations at appropriate time to create a favourable atmosphere for the election and ease the poll campaigns.

5. Efforts will be made to formulate “National Charter” on the basis of consensus on relevant matters prior to the polls so qualitative changes are censured in government and political systems after the election.

The idea to formulate a national charter would be a very challaging job but once formed would have lasting effect on our political process.
But the major political parties would be frustated because of the absence of any hints in regard to their top leaders.

In immediate reaction, AL acting chief Zillur Rahman brushed aside the speech as mere advice. Pro-Delwar BNP also blasted the speech as of no direction. Rashed Khan Menon of Workers’ Party said that the speech didnn’t mention anything regarding the 1971 war criminals. But Major (Rtd) Hafizuudin, the acting secretary of the other faction of BNP appreciated some of the points in the speech. Election Commission nodded positively saying that the declaration of the withdrwal of ban from indoor poliitics throughout the country will help in materialising the raodmap of the election commission to the national election by December 2008.

An ordinary citizen

Post script:
Most parties are unhapppy on CA’s address[…]
CA’s address strikes a defining note[…]

Government bar party factions to do indoor politics[…]
6 parties invited to talk with the govt[…]


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