Khaleda asks for early dialogue for inclusive elections

Staff Correspondent

The Bangladesh Nationalist Party chairperson, Khaleda Zia, on Tuesday stressed the need for early dialogue to pave way for an inclusive general election under a non-party government which was ‘very essential’ not only for democracy but for social security and economic stability.
Khaleda made the remarks when a parliamentary delegation of Germany led by Dagmar Woehrl met her at her Gulshan office in the evening.
After the meeting, BNP vice-chairman Shamsher Mobin Chowdhry told reporters that Khaleda told the German delegation that the people of Bangladesh boycotted the ‘so called’ January 5 general elections.
The BNP chairperson told the delegation that a general election contested by all parties through holding dialogue between the ruling and opposition parties was very essential to restore political stability.
Khaleda told them that BNP in the past had struggled for democracy and was still carrying out movement for democracy and her party remained with the people.
Shamsher said that the delegation told Khaleda that the German government and lawmakers had many questions over the January 5 election. The delegation members said that aspiration of people of Bangladesh was not expressed rightly in the elections.
The delegation hoped that an inclusive election acceptable to all would be held through holding dialogue very soon to restore democratic ruling system in Bangladesh and people could live peacefully in democratic atmosphere, Shamsher said.
During the meeting, Khaleda appraised the delegation of the current situation of Bangladesh mentioning that opposition leaders and activists were being victims of enforced disappearance and bodies of many opposition leaders abducted were being found.
In response, the German delegation said that the matter was very important and alarming for the people of Bangladesh, Shamsher said.
He said that delegation member Stefan Rebmann said that German government and the entire Europe looked at Bangladesh so that democracy could be restored soon.
During the meeting that lasted for one hour and a half, Khaleda said it was the responsibility of all to ensure welfare and safety of the workers of Bangladesh. She hoped that such atmosphere would prevail in all industries so that workers could work safely.
The other members of the delegation included lawmakers Jurgen Klimke, Frank Heinrich, Gabi Weber, Niema Movassat, Uwe Kekeritz and Germany ambassador Albrecht Conze.  BNP chairperson’s advisory council members Reaz Rahman and Sabihuddin Ahmed were also present.

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