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11th National elections by Dec ‘18 as per constitution: Obaidul Quader

News Desk, 18 Feb.

Ruling Bangladesh Awami League (AL) general secretary Obaidul Quader on Saturday said the next general elections will be held by December in 2018 as per the constitution.

Also the road transport and bridges minister, Quader said his party’s archrival Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) will join the next general elections, too and will be the primary rival of the ruling party.

“No matter how much disarray the party is in now and no matter how weak the party is, its supporters’ base is not weak. There is no scope to consider the party weak in the politics of votes,” said Quader while addressing party’s divisional workers’ conference in Rajshahi.

He said, “I hope the next elections will be held by December next year as per the constitution. The BNP will come to the election and will be the primary competitor.”

The BNP boycotted the 10th general elections on 5 January 2014 as it was held under the Sheikh Hasina-led government. The next general elections are likely to be held under the same government unless a constitutional amendment is made.

Hasina-led parliament scrapped the non-party neutral election-time government system through the 15th amendment to the constitution in 2011, allowing general elections under elected partisan governments.

AL president Sheikh Hasina is the current prime minister.

Dwelling on BNP’s threat for street agitation, Quader said, “The BNP has formed a 596-strong committee. It speaks of movement at an interval of few days, but street agitation never takes place.”

The AL general secretary called upon his party activists to amend their manners and behaviour. “There is no lack of development in this Hasina-led regime, but the party activists lack manners and etiquette. People are not complaining now as we are in power, but they will give an answer through ballots.”

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