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Brace yourselves for an eventful September

  • Published at 12:34 am September 3rd, 2018
Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban
The Election Commission has yet to make a decision on when the election will be held Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

The month September has become extremely important before the electoral campaigns begin, with the commission gearing up to announce the election schedule in October

The 11th national election is only four months away, as the Election Commission has already declared that it plans to hold the polls in the last week of December.

The month September has become extremely important before the electoral campaigns begin, with the commission gearing up to announce the election schedule in October.

The ruling Awami League-led 14-party alliance, BNP-led 20-party alliance, a new unity between Gono Forum and Juktofront – all have chalked out numerous programs for September, in order to either retain or establish dominance in the political arena ahead of the polls.

The last session of the parliament, before it is dissolved, will also be begin on September 9, and many important decisions, such as forming an election-time government, might be taken during that session.

All parties gearing up for campaigns 

According to sources, the 14-party alliance has arranged at least six public appearances across the country in September. The first of them will be held on September 18.

Later, the alliance will also arrange programs in October, November and even in December to occupy the streets.

Coalition spokesperson and Awami League Presidium Member Md Nasim said: “Even though some parties are attempting to bring a non-political and unconstitutional government to power, the 14-party alliance will never allow it.”

The health and family welfare minister also claimed that leaders and activists of the 14-party alliance will be on the streets to prevent any kind of untoward situations like that of 2014 when BNP and alliance burnt people alive. 

Gono Forum President Dr Kamal Hossain has called a public meeting at Suhrawardy Udyan on September 22, where all opposition parties, except Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, may participate in.

According to sources, Kamal is aiming to announce a very important political message that is likely to declare the formation of a united alliance “National Unity” along with BNP, Juktofront and other similar-mind parties.

If Gono Forum is unable to get permission to hold the rally at Suhrawardy Udyan, it will be held elsewhere. 

Awami League’s main political rival BNP observed their 41st founding anniversary on September 1 and has planned to arrange numerous programs throughout the month. 

According to BNP leaders, the programs marking the founding anniversary on the election year will help BNP increase party activities before the vote.

National Unity by Kamal Hossain-B Chy-BNP

Gono Forum President Dr Kamal Hossain and leaders of Juktofront recently decided to unite with the view to serve the country together ahead of the 11th parliamentary election.

The decision was made at a meeting held at Kamal Hossain’s Bailey Road residence last week.

“We have decided to form a sub-committee to organize all programs of the alliance and will inform everyone about our future plans,” said AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury, who also heads Juktofront and Bikalpodhara Bangladesh.

Apart from working together with Juktofront leaders, Kamal is also trying to form the National Unity along with all opposition parties, including BNP and excluding Jamaat.

Meanwhile, over the past few months, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir has held talks with various political parties, including all member parties of Juktofront, as they are currently in the process of reorganizing alliances to be more competitive in the upcoming national polls.

BNP leaders recently also met Kamal regarding the new alliance, which will be formed with the aim of compelling the government to hold the polls under a neutral administration.

These leaders will take the final decision about forming the National Unity. 

ABM Mostafa Amin, member secretary of National Unity process, said that Election Commission has to be reformed to ensure a free, fair and participatory election.

He said: “To fulfill our political demands we have decided to form the unity, and the public meeting on September 22 is the first step of that process.”

Making new alliances

For the past several months, Awami League has been trying to make new ties with several left-leaning political parties.

On July 24, Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader made an unscheduled visit to the office of the Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) to discuss the political situation of the country.

During the visit, Obaidul discussed the present political situation, quota reform movement, the upcoming parliamentary election, and a possible political alliance with the CPB, sources in both the parties told the Dhaka Tribune.

CPB recently formed an alliance named the Left Democratic Alliance with the Socialist Party of Bangladesh and six other leftist parties.

Sources said the ruling party is reportedly trying to bring the CPB and its alliance to participate in the upcoming election, and Obaidul’s visit was a part of that agenda.

Obaidul, also the road transport and bridges minister, also spoke with the Socialist Party of Bangladesh leaders, Krishak Sramik Janata League President Abdul Kader Siddique and Nazmul Huda, former minister of BNP-Jamaat-led government and also the chief of the Bangladesh National Alliance (BNA), on July 26 this year.

He discussed different issues including the country’s contemporary political affairs with them.

Nine small political parties led by Nazmul Huda have expressed their interest to work with Awami League and have held meetings with 14-party alliance leaders.

According to sources, Awami League will take the final decision about their 14-party alliance and Awami League-led grand


Also, Awami League and its allies will act on their initiatives and show that Kamal Hossain and Juktofront’s initiatives to form the National Unity is controversial. 

Verdict of August 21 grenade attack case

The verdict of the case filed the grenade attack on an Awami League rally on August 21, 2004 will also be delivered in September.

According to the statements of several government ministers, several BNP leaders including Tarique Rahman, Harris Chowdhury, former state minister for home affairs Lutfozzaman Babar and others might be convicted for their involvement in the attack.

Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader claimed that BNP leaders were involved with the August 21 grenade attack and BNP will be in great trouble after the verdict.

However, BNP leaders have alleged that the ruling party is trying to ensure a “dictated judgement” in the case.

BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi said: “The August 21 grenade attack verdict is set to be a tailor-made one.”

Countering Obadiul’s remarks, Rizvi said: “The comments of Obaidul Quader clearly suggests that they’ve been working to get the verdict of the August 21 grenade attack case according to their blue print.”

Speaking to the Dhaka Tribune, several politicians from Awami League and BNP said that the political sphere is going to heat up after the verdict is declared.