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JP for deferring poll schedule

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Taranco talks with Ershad 
Staff Reporter
Jatiya Party on Sunday told UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Oscar Fernández Taranco that the schedule for the 10th general polls must be deferred to find out ways to hold an inclusive election through further dialogues among all political parties.
JP general secretary Ruhul Amin Hawlader said this while briefing the reporters about the hour-long discussion between the UN delegation and the JP leaders at JP chairman HM Ershad’s Baridhara residence.
Ruhul said the party leaders told the UN envoy that the current situation is uncongenial to hold the general election as per the schedule already declared by the Election Commission (EC).
“We asked him (Taranco) to talk to the government to take initiative for an all-party dialogue to find out ways to hold a free and fair election,” he said.
“He must discuss with the Election Commission to ensure that the election schedule is deferred,” he said.
JP cleared its stance that it will participate in the election only if the participation of all the parties is ensured, he added.
Ruhul noted that the election schedule needs to be reviewed in any way as many competent candidates of JP could not complete the procedures for submitting nomination papers within the scheduled date.
JP presidium member GM Quader said, “We told (Taranco) that the situation of the country is not suitable to hold an election.”
“If all parties don’t contest in the polls, JP will not participate too. We’re going to withdraw ourselves from the polls-time cabinet - this is what our Chairman told Taranco,” he added.
UN Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs Oscar Fernández Taranco entered Ershad’s residence at 9:33am and came out after the meeting at 10:35 today (Sunday). He declined to make any comment before the media about the meeting.
Taranco arrived here on Friday evening amid the country’s murky political situation that has cast a shadow on its January-5 general election.
The UN envoy had meetings with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Opposition Leader Khaleda Zia on Saturday evening.
Earlier, Taranco started his Bangladesh mission by holding meetings with Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque and Foreign Minister AH Mahmud Ali on Saturday. Later, an Awami League delegation led by its general secretary Syed Ashraful Islam met Taranco at Sonargaon Hotel in the city.
Taranco will leave Dhaka on December 10 and report back to the UN Secretary General on the outcome of his Bangladesh visit ahead of the election, said an official source.