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Mozena tells Khaleda

US wants mid-term inclusive polls

By STAFF REPORTER
13th-Feb-2014       
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US Ambassador in Dhaka Dan W Mozena on Tuesday night said that the January-5 election was not accepted to the people of Bangladesh, as the mandate of the people was not reflected in the election. He also said that the USA contains such view about this election. (partly published on Wednesday)
The US envoy opined in favour of midterm polls, saying that the two sides should engage in talks for holding mid-term polls in participation of all the political parties. Recalling Prime Minister's comment about the talks and the midterm polls, he said, "I think it is a good idea."
He made the remarks while talking to reporters after holding a meeting with BNP Chairperson and former Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia at her Gulshan office in the city on Tuesday night.
In the hour-long meeting, Khaleda Zia and Mozena discussed different issues, particularity the Januray-5 election and the post polls situation. This was the first meeting of the US envoy with the BNP chief after the 'one-sided' election.
BNP vice-chairman Shamsher Mobin Chowdhury, chairperson's advisers Dr Osman Faruk and Reaz Rahman, were present at the meeting, among others.
Mozena termed his country's interaction with the current regime not a business as usual, but he said that they would continue their support for the people of Bangladesh and strengthen its democratic process for the sake of the people. "We will continue to engage with this government in support of all-out programmes for the people of Bangladesh. About other programmes, we will assess on case by case basis," he said. About the meeting, Mozena said he gave the preview of testimony of US Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Desai Biswal that placed before the hearing arranged by the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in Washington. He had also discussed about the upazila elections with the BNP chief, he added.   About the meeting, Shamser Mobin Chowdhury said that Khaleda Zia told the US envoy that the country's people have no confidence in the 'so-called' current government. The government did not come in power with people's mandate, as the people did not go to the polling centres to cast their votes in the January 5 election. Only five percent votes were cast in the election.
The BNP chief also voiced concern that the country is heading towards a deep uncertainty and said the only way to overcome it is to initiate a dialogue between Awami League and BNP, said the BNP leader quoting Khaleda Zia.
"It is a demand of the country's people that the government hold an acceptable fresh election to restore normalcy in the country," Khaleda Zia told the US envoy.

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