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Sunday, March 05, 2006

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HEADLINE
 
AL keen to start talks on reform proposals
3/5/2006
 

          No headway has been in sight as yet in regard to forming a committee as was declared by the Prime Minister (PM) to reach a consensus on the main opposition's reform agenda on the caretaker government, election commission and electoral laws, reports BDNEWS.
On the other hand, the main opposition the Awami League (AL) expressed its eagerness to sit across the table on the issue though it blasted the PM's declaration initially.
They, however, expressed their frustration as there is no initiative visible till now from the ruling party on forming committee as said by the Prime Minister. They are now waiting for the formation of the said committee.
Leader of the Opposition in parliament Sheikh Hasina while talking to journalists Friday termed the PM's speech unclear and raised a question about her sincerity over the issue.
Over the issue Agriculture Minister MK Anwar said that the opposition had turned down the PM's declaration, adding, "Is there any scope for them to put forward the proposal?"
He, however, said that the ruling party is observing keenly the opposition's stance over the issue."
"We want a free and fair election in which all parties will participate and the government will do everything possible in its capacity to this end", he added.
Referring to the proposals of the opposition camp the minister said, many of the proposals placed by the AL are now in force. Some of them can be accepted but all things as demanded by the opposition cannot be accepted. We can hold discussion on the matter, he added.
Pointing his finger at the opposition alliance, he said, the BNP had come to power through people's mandate and with a specific programme, adding, "we are now working to implement our programmes".
Now, if the AL wants to force the government to bow down to their demands they can include it in their election manifesto, he observed saying, "Implementation of the programmes will depend on people's aspiration."
The main opposition AL, on its return to the parliament on February 12 after a prolonged absence, placed a 31-point proposal for reforms in the caretaker government, election commission and electoral laws.
Leader of the opposition Sheikh Hasina placed the proposals herself in the House but the ruling alliance leaders made adverse comments over it. However, the Prime Minister on the concluding day of the Jatiya Sangsad (JS) session on February 28 gave her opinion on the issue.
Prime Minister Khaleda Zia on February 28 in parliament proposed forming a committee with representation from the ruling and opposition parties to reach to a consensus on the main opposition's reform agenda.
"If you (Awami League) are sincere, I hope you will discuss the proposals in the committee. We will also hold discussions and debates, and take a decision on the proposals if placed in parliament as a bill after removing the mistakes and inconsistencies," the prime minister said while participating in the thanksgiving motion on the president's speech.
All political parties including the BNP welcomed her proposal in the parliament.

 

 
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