‘We are not enemies, but rivals’

 

Jatiya Party Chairman Hussein Muhammad Ershad has urged all political parties to stop fighting each other and focus on development.

Awami League Joint General Secretary Mahbub-ul Alam Hanif supported his call but BNP Standing Committee member Moudud Ahmed said there was lack of ‘faith’ among the parties.

Their reaction came at an Iftar party hosted by Jatiya Party for politicians and foreign delegates at Westin Hotel in the capital’s Gulshan on Friday.

The Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition were also invited, but they did not show up.

Other leaders from Awami League and BNP present at the get-together were Presidium member Matia Chowdhury, Prime Minister’s Advisor HT Imam, BNP Standing Committee member MK Anwar and Vice-Chairman Abdullah Al Noman.

Ruling Grand Alliance members Workers Party President Rashed Khan Menon and Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal President Hasanul Huq Inu also attended it.

Shortly before the Iftar, in a brief address Ershad thanked the leaders from both sides for joining the function.

“We are not one another’s enemy. We are competitors. We will compete in the election, and whoever wins will come to power. There is no place for violence and chaos,” the former President said.

“But first mutual amity and support are needed. If all political parties had united only to do good and develop the country, peace would have returned. Violence and chaos would have stopped.”

After the Iftar, Hanif told reporters, “What Mr Ershad said should happen – a peaceful handover of power. Awami League is the only party which managed to do that peacefully.”

Saying the next general elections will be held fairly, he added, “No-one has any problem with the election system. The main argument is about the nature of the poll-time government. I hope this debate will end through discussion.”

However, reacting to his remarks, Moudud said, “The government wants to resolve the problem through talks without creating the proper environment.”

“Discussion just cannot take place when one wishes. We have been saying a partisan government is not capable of holding a fair election. We also said we were ready if the non-party government issue is to be discussed.”

He said there was no sign of government measures to form a non-partisan government and that they lost their trust in the present government because of its actions against the opposition.

He, however, said Ershad’s call to the leaders was a ‘good call’. Moudud had served the autocratic regime of Ershad as Prime Minister in the late 80s.

Source: Bd news24

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