Why does Oikya Front want to sit with editors on Friday?

Why does Oikya Front want to sit with editors on Friday?

Dhaka Tribune  November 14th, 2018

WEB_Jatiya Oikya Front press briefing_second dialogue with govt_07.11.2018.jpg

File photo: Gono Forum President and Jatiya Oikya Front leader Dr Kamal Hossain speaks at a press briefing at his Bailey Road residence in Dhaka following Oikya Front’s second round of dialogue with the government on Wednesday, November 7, 2018 Arifur Rahman Rabbi/Dhaka Tribune

The alliance and its key partner, BNP, have said they do not believe the voting will be free and fair, since BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia remains confined to jail and the ruling Awami League is set to administrate the polls-time government

Jatiya Oikya Front has sent invitations to several newspaper editors asking them to sit with the alliance on Friday, November 16.

The alliance says it wants to build a better cooperation with the media and share its concerns regarding the upcoming 11th parliamentary election.

Jatiya Oikya Front leader Sultan Muhammad Mansur told the Dhaka Tribune that the editor of every “prominent” newspaper would be invited.

“We will first sit with the print media editors and then announce the date for the meeting with the editors from electronic media,” he said.

The alliance and its key partner, BNP, have said they do not believe the voting will be free and fair, since BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia remains confined to jail and the ruling Awami League is set to administrate the polls-time government.

Consequently, they want the media to publish accurate accounts of any malpractice that occurs in or outside polling centres in the 300 constituencies of the country on December 30.

“We know the media’s limitation but within that limitation we want their help,” one of the alliance leaders, Nagorik Oikya convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna, said. “We will ask the print media to do some investigative pieces on election irregularity.”

Mahmudur placed an emphasis on the print media, since their news output will be documented and could be used in the future.

“We do not want much. We want the real picture of the present political situation (and) the scenario on election day to be published objectively,” he said.

“As political parties or candidates we cannot gather information on or protest all of the incidents of vote rigging and other anomalies. This is why we will ask the editors to be objective and investigate allegations of anomalies from the people who know what is really happening.”

BNP Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi claimed during a press conference at the party’s Naya Paltan office yesterday that the Election Commission “wants to control the media” during the upcoming 11th general election.

“This is why the press has been given directives to stop live broadcasts (while) various investigative organizations are constantly threatening the media in the name of monitoring them,” he said.

“The ruling party is using government money to run publicity campaigns on national television. This violates the electoral code of conduct, and is unfair to us.”

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