AL wants competitive elections: Quader

Awami League General Secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader today said the AL does not want uncontested elections, it wants competitive ones instead with participation of all political parties.

“The Awami League never wants to score goals on an empty field. We want all political parties to join elections,” he told reporters after joining a view-exchange meeting with the staff of Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) at its head office here.

Quader said the Election Commission (EC) started holding dialogues with the registered political parties from today, which will continue till July 31 next.

A 10-member delegation of the ruling Awami League will join the EC’s dialogue on July 31, he said.

The AL general secretary said responding to the EC’s call, it is the patriotic duty of all the registered political parties to join the dialogues, hoping that the parties would play a responsible role in the dialogues.

Those who want to change the government through elections should join the polls, he added.

Expecting that every registered political party would participate in the dialogues, Quader said: “We want to see this election as a competitive one. That’s why a free, impartial and credible election will be held with the participation of all registered parties.”

Noting that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has already strengthened the country’s electoral system, he said the system will be modernised further.

The existing electoral system will also be conducive to holding a fair, free and impartial election, he added.

Reiterating that the elections would be held under the EC, the AL general secretary said if the EC remains neutral, free and fair elections will be held.

There will be no involvement of the government in elections while it will cooperate with the EC only, he said.

He said no agency or office involved in the elections will run under the government during the election period but those will be under the EC’s jurisdiction.

Earlier, the road transport and bridges minister exchanged views with the officials and employees of the BRTC.

Road Transport and Highways Division secretary ABM Amin Ullah Nuri and BRTC chairman Md Tazul Islam were, among others, present at the meeting.

Speaking on the occasion, Quader said the BRTC is back on the track of profit but it must continue, proving that the state-owned agency is a burden for the government.

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