Little chance of BNP joining polls: Bangladesh minister

Dhaka, Dec 15: Bangladesh Communications Minister Obaidul Quader said Sunday the ruling Awami League and the opposition BNP are holding talks to end the political deadlock, but there is little chance of the BNP taking part in the polls.

“The election is slated for Jan 5. Time is running out. The chance of their (Bangladesh Nationalist Party – BNP) joining the polls is slim,” quoted the minister as saying.

The Awami League presidium member, however, said the two parties were taking the dialogue seriously. “The way to a resolution is through the talks. But nothing can be said for sure at this moment.”

Mahbub-ul Alam Hanif, joint general secretary of the Awami League, said Saturday the ongoing talks would continue.

Both the parties started talks last week on mediation of Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, United Nation assistant secretary general.

They have held three rounds of talks so far, with the last on Friday.

Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad has said that the election schedule might change if the main opposition will join the 10th parliamentary polls of the country.

“Everything is possible if an understanding is reached,” he added.

Ahmad said that after the completion of the final list of candidates, getting the opposition involved into the process would be complicated.

It is a constitutional obligation to hold the polls by Jan 24.