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Bangladesh Army to ensure peace during polls

IANS | Last Updated: Saturday, December 21, 2013 - 11:58

Dhaka: Bangladesh`s Election Commission (EC) has decided to deploy the army for a 15-day period, beginning from Dec 26 in a move to ensure free, fair and peaceful parliamentary elections in the country.

Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad informed reporters about the commission`s decision Friday evening following a law-and-order meeting, reported.

Four Election Commissioners, EC Secretary, returning officers, top officials of the armed forces, police, Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) attended the meet.

Meanwhile, the country`s Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu reiterated that door for talks to reach a political agreement, within the purview of the Constitution, with the opposition remains open.

Speaking during a discussion at the Institution of Diploma Engineers here, the minister said candidates had already launched electoral campaign but the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and its ally Jamaat-e-Islami were carrying out sabotage, boycotting the scheduled Jan 5 general elections.

Stating that BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia had wasted time by evading dialogue, the minister said elections were not the target of the opposition, but foiling the war criminals` trial. The 10th parliamentary elections would not be held to occupy power but to uphold the Constitution, the minister added.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said there was still scope for the opposition to participate in the parliamentary polls. She said a fresh election would be held after dissolving the 10th parliament if an understanding was reached, but for that the BNP must shun violence and sever ties with the Jamaat-e-Islami.

First Published: Saturday, December 21, 2013 - 11:58

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