Faridul Alam Farid
Country’s Election Commission (EC) is all set to finalize the date of next general election during its meeting on November 4, 2018. According to a number of sources, EC will be declaring the election schedule sometime during the second week of this month, while the Election Day would be either of 21st or 30th of December. The EC is under constitutional obligation of holding the next general election by January 14, 2018.
Meanwhile country’s main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) which had boycotted the January 5, 2014 general election is busy in setting its chairperson Khaleda Zia free from the prison. Khaleda has been serving rigorous imprisonment since February 8, 2018 in a number of corruption cases. The Senior Vice Chairman of the party, Tarique Rahman also is a fugitive, who already has been convicted in a number of cases. Tarique has been living on self-exile in United Kingdom since 2007. But, sitting in the UK, Tarique is controlling the party activities.
As BNP’s politics started losing steam, it formed Jatiya Oikyafront (JO) with eminent jurist Dr. Kamal Hossain as the chief. On November 1, 2018, JO leaders held meeting with the ruling party leaders, which was chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, to discuss and negotiate participation of JO-led political parties in the upcoming general election.
The PM, who also is the President of ruling Bangladesh Awami League led a 23-member delegation while Kamal a 20-member team in the discussion, focused on reaching a consensus over holding the next general election in a fair, credible and inclusive manner.