We invited BNP for informal talks: CEC29 March 2023
Staff Reporter :
Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Kazi Habibul Awal said, that the invitation to the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) was just for normal talks, not for dialogue.
He also said that it was not a government tactic.
"We sent a demi-official letter addressing the BNP secretary general inviting them to sit for an informal discussion. The letter was sent on Thursday (24 March)," said the CEC during a press briefing on Tuesday.
The CEC, however, stressed that it was an informal invitation.
"We did not invite them for a dialogue. Dialogue is formal. We have clearly said that they [BNP] can come to the informal discussion. We extended this invitation to them very humbly. But many want to say it is a ploy of the government."We want to inform the entire nation, to assure, that the government has nothing to do with this letter. If one wants to consider it as a tactic, it should be the Election Commission's, not the government's. And the Election Commission never did this as a trick," he added.
The current EC, led by Awal, held two rounds of talks with the political parties since its formation last year. However, BNP and some other political parties did not participate in the talks.
Mirza Fakhrul on Saturday said the Election Commission's (EC's) letter inviting BNP to talks is nothing but the latest strategy of the government to hold another election by depriving people of their voting rights.
Habibul Awal said, "We have said we will have no comment on your [BNP] tactics. However, we would like to have discussions with you. The outcome of the discussion may or may not be positive, but efforts should not be curtailed".
He said, "The Election Commission has been rooting for free, impartial, participatory and virtually competitive elections from the beginning. The Election Commission feels that in the interest of democracy, in the interest of elections and in the interest of party democracy, it is necessary for political parties to participate in elections.
"Party rule is the key to parliamentary democracy. Rebel candidates or independent candidates can never form a government. That's why our goal is to make our parties enriched and more integrated through good political practice".