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Many things possible, CEC tells Taranco

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Staff Reporter
Apparently giving a nod to rescheduling of the national election if there is no legal obstacle, Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad told visiting UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Oscar Fernández Taranco that many things can be done if the political parties reach a negotiation.
Talking to reporters before leaving his office about the commission’s meeting with Taranco, the CEC said the UN envoy asked them whether it is possible to defer the election schedule.
“We’ve told them (UN) that many things are possible to do if there’s any negotiation among the political parties. But everything has to be done within the legal framework,” Rakibuddin said.
 He, however, told the UN envoy that the issue (deferring election) turned complicated as there is no progress in sight for a negotiation through talks though two weeks have already elapsed since announcement of the election schedule.
The CEC on November 25 announced the schedule for the general election fixing the voting date for January 5 amid BNP’s boycott threat.
Earlier, a six-member delegation led by Taranco went to the EC secretariat around 11.00 am and had a long meeting with the commission.
Before the meeting with the CEC, the UN envoy held an hour-long meeting with Jatiya Party chairman HM Ershad in the morning.
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 on Saturday, Taranco started his Bangladesh mission by holding meetings with Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque and Foreign Minister AH Mahmud Ali. 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 chief on the outcome of his Bangladesh visit ahead of the election.