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Dialogue between PM Hasina and Bangladesh opposition fails to yield any result

PTI dhaka
Updated: 07-11-2018 19:59 IST

Bangladesh Prime Minster Sheikh Hasina's crucial dialogue with the opposition Wednesday failed to yield any result as the ruling Awami League rejected as "unacceptable" Jatiya Oikya Front's demand of dissolving parliament before the election.

The Jatiya Oikya Front (NUF) emerged two months ago as an opposition platform and floated a seven-point demand, including dissolution of parliament to pave ways for a polls time interim government for holding a credible parliamentary election expected in December.

But the Awami League insisted the polls must be held under the incumbent government.

"We have no problem in accepting most of their demands... but their demand for constituting a interim polls time government dissolving the parliament is unacceptable," Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader told reporters after the meeting.

He said the dissolution of parliament meant deferment of the polls schedule and paving ways for "for undemocratic forces' emergence on the scene", referring to the installation of the past-military backed interim government with non-elected people that ran the country in 2007-2008.

The NUF convenor and prominent lawyer Kamal Hossain, who led the opposition delegation in the talks for the second time in a week, later told a media briefing "we want a peaceful solution of the impasse".

"The ball is now in their (government) court," he said while he was flanked by other leaders of the front, a combination of political parties and individuals, including imprisoned ex-premier Khaleda Zia's main opposition the BNP.

Asked if they were satisfied with the dialogue outcome, BNP secretary general Fakhrul Islam said they submitted their demands to the government and "now we will go to people (under a scheduled road march) and to get our demands realised through them".

"We took the dialogue as part of our movement," he said.

The meeting came a day after four technocrat ministers of the Cabinet tendered their resignation. They were asked by Hasina to resign, indicating that the non-elected people had no stake in the government during the polls time.

"This is an excuse to delay the election. A third force may come in to create an undesirable situation like 1/11 (installation of the military backed government," Quader said.

But the government had no problem in accepting most of the demands of the NUF which prioritised the demand of release of Zia, now serving a 10-year prison term on graft charges.

Quader, however, said Zia's release was entirely dependent on the court decision and "if the court grants her bail, we have no problem".

"If there is any real political prisoner, we will consider their freedom. The law minister will be instructed," Quader said as the NUF gave a list of detained opposition leaders and activists.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)