POST TIME: 2 December, 2017 12:22:55 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 2 December, 2017 10:43:56 AM
AL ready to ‘hold polls anytime’
Abu Jakir

AL ready to ‘hold polls anytime’

The government is seriously considering holding snap polls in a bid to avoid any unpleasant situation that can go against the ruling party during the run-up to the next general election, said sources in the Awami League's (AL's) Dhanmondi political office. The next parliamentary election can be held between late 2018 and early 2019 in line with the Constitution. The Election Commission (EC) has also made a roadmap for the election.

AL insiders said although the party had previously decided to complete its full term in office, party higher-ups are now contemplating holding a snap poll in the first part of the next year to ensure its victory. A snap poll is being considered as different vested quarters are becoming active as the time of holding the next general election is drawing near, they added.

Besides, the BNP is not prepared for an election right now. If the government can arrange a snap election within a short period, the AL is likely to secure victory in the poll.

Talking to this correspondent, several senior leaders of the AL said that there is a strong rumour in the country’s political arena that the next general election might be held before the election schedule stipulated in the Constitution.

Earlier, on Wednesday, the chief election commissioner, KM Nurul Huda, had said they are ready to hold a even a snap poll if the Sheikh Hasina government wants so. “The government takes the decision on snap elections. We have 90 days to prepare for the voting. We'll be able to hold snap polls if the government tells us to do so,” he had added.

After the much-talked-about January 5 election, which was boycotted by the BNP, 153 ruling party candidates had elected unopposed. At that time, the BNP had been demanding to hold snap polls, while Jatiya Party chairman HM Ershad had already asked his party leaders to get ready for snap polls several times.

However, several senior leaders of the ruling party and the 14-Party Alliance confirmed that the AL-led government is taking preparations to hold a snap poll.

AL party chief Sheikh Hasina has already ordered its level leaders and activists, as well as political allies, to take preparation for the next polls, they said.

Two AL presidium members and four advisors of the ruling AL told The Independent that the decision depends on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. As a political party, the AL is always ready to contest elections, they iterated.

Several sources claimed that foreign partners of the AL have advised the party higher-ups to declare a snap election to secure victory in the next poll.

AL general secretary Obaidul Quader yesterday said that the AL is always ready for contesting elections even if they are held within a short period. “I think the next election would be held on December 2018 as per the Constitution. The decision on having a snap election totally depends on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina,” he added.

“Even if the Prime Minister announces a snap election next month, we'll definitely win the polls. We always remain ready to participate in elections,” he added.

Quader was addressing a press conference after holding a secretary-level meeting with the top brass of its affiliate organisations at the Dhanmondi party office in the capital.