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Inclusive polls a must: Khaleda

Places 7-point demand: 20-Party to observe Jan 5 as 'Democracy Killing Day

 Places 7-point demand: 20-Party to observe Jan 5 as 'Democracy Killing Day
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BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia on Wednesday placed a seven-point demand, including the arrangement of a fresh inclusive national election under a neutral administration as soon as possible, to resolve the ongoing political standoff.She also urged all democratic parties, forces and individuals to get united to wage a national movement through a national consensus to establish a government of people.The former prime minister came up with the proposals at an emergency press conference at her Gulshan office around 6:30pm amid the growing political tension ahead of January 5, the first anniversary of the 10th parliamentary elections that largely went uncontested."We've given seven point proposals for ensuring a fair election. Now it's the government who will have to decide whether it'll sit in dialogue accepting our proposals or it'll face movement," Khaleda said. The seven proposals include creating a level-playing field for all political parties, reconstitution of the Election Commission with impartial competent and honest persons before announcing the election schedule, removing anomalies in the voter list, dissolving parliament and cabinet before the election schedule, handing over power to an impartial, non-party administration through consensus among all political parties, deploying members of the armed forces with magistracy power to ensure a peaceful atmosphere conducive to a fair polls soon after announcement of the election schedule.Khaleda also proposed conducting a special drive before the start of the election campaign to arrest the listed criminals and recover illegal arms, withdrawing controversial, partisan officials from the administration and law enforcement agencies, releasing all political prisoners, withdrawing 'false' cases against political leaders and reopening all print and electronic outlets shutdown during the Awami League government.Asked whether she also demands the release of Jamaat leaders convicted for their involvement in war crimes, she parried the question saying those who have committed crimes must be punished.  "This is a different issue."Asked whether her party will participate in election if it is arranged according to the current constitution, Khaleda said, "We've clearly stated that the next polls must be held under a non-party administration."As her attention was drawn to the ruling party leaders' remarks that the next national election will not be held before 2019, the BNP chief said, "This is an illegal government which does not represent people. Despite that we have given them one year time. Now we want a free, fair and inclusive election as early as possible."Reiterating her party-led alliance's stance on a free and fair election, Khaleda said the government has to hold an election with participation of all political parties no matter what they say."We think the proposals we've placed are very much logical and a solution can be found in line with those," she added.Asked whether her party thinks the international community, including the UN, should play a role in resolving the ongoing political standoff, the former premier replied in the negative.Replying to a question whether her party has organisational strength to wage a tougher movement, Khaleda said her party has proved its stance for such a movement before the January 5 one-sided election."BNP is a well-organised party and It's completely ready to hit the streets with tougher action programme," she added.In her speech, she renewed her party's threat that they will enforce a non-stop action programme if the government increases prices of power and gas.Khaleda said they will observe January 5 as the "Democracy Killing Day" with rallies, black-flag processions and demonstrations across the country, including the capital city."We want to hold a rally on January 5 and we hope we'll be allowed to peacefully do that. We'll gradually come up with our action programmes. No one will be able to subdue people's movement by creating obstacles and unleashing attack on them."On Tarique Rahman's recent remarks that Bangabandhu was a big Razakar, she said her elder son did not say that in that way.She, however, claimed what Tarique said [about Bangabandhu] in London was based on facts and documents.

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