18-party plans fresh movement for mid-term polls

BNP Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia and her party-led 18-party alliance, now planning to launch fresh movement to enforce a mid-term election this year. Khaleda Zia has plan to visit different district headquarters in the coming months to gear up the movement demanding a mid-term election under a poll-time non-party government, sources said. The 18-party alliance is scheduled to hold countrywide rallies and processions on January 20 to thank people for boycotting the January 5 polls while it will also stage demonstrations with black-flag on January 29 to protest “killing of democracy and keeping people away from their voting rights.” As part of the strategy, the 18-party alliance would try to avoid tougher programme like hartals and blockades in the next few months considering suffering of the people. The plan and the strategy were discussed in the meeting of the 18-party top leaders last week.Talking to The New Nation, Chairman of Islami Oikya Jote (IOJ) Maulana Abdul Latif Nejami, who attended the 18-party’s meeting, said that Khaleda Zia is rigid on her stance for realising the demand of non-party government system. The countrymen have already responded to Khaleda Zia by boycotting the January-5 election and the government will realise the fact soon, he added.  BNP vice chairman Abdullah-Al-Noman said that they would move forward very cautiously. They will announce programmes gradually to get the common people’s involvement in the upcoming movement.The party standing committee member Lt Gen (Retd) Mahbubur Rahman said that although the ‘farcical’ election could not be resisted, it was proved that the election was ‘controversial’ and people have rejected it. The international community has been repeatedly urging to start a dialogue as soon as possible for compromise. The government will respect the public sentiment and the messages of the international community soon, he hoped.