BNP likely to join local govt polls
The BNP is likely to take part in the upcoming local government elections and the by-polls for parliamentary seats "if the situation returns to normal."
Party's standing committee members recently held a meeting virtually and decided to "think positively" about participating in the polls.
The party did not take part in the last four by-polls "due to flood and the pandemic".
Meeting sources said initially the party leaders were divided over participating in the polls, but they later agreed to join "for the sake of democracy."
"We discussed that boycotting the election is not a sustainable solution. So, we have to participate, no matter what is the result," said a standing committee member, wishing not to be named.
He also said they would not contest the polls if the pandemic and flood situation does not improve.
"We are yet to make any decision but observing the whole situation," said Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, BNP secretary general.
Since the detection of the first coronavirus case on March 8, the EC has so far held several elections. On March 21, it held by-polls to Dhaka-10, Gaibandha-3, and Bagerhat-4. By-polls to Bogura-1 and Jashore-6 constituencies were held on July 14.
Mohammad Shahjahan, vice-chairman of the party, said people were struggling for their lives and livelihoods, and the election was not their concern.
"But the Election Commission is planning to declare the ruling party candidates the winners without any contest," he said.
By-elections to Dhaka-18 and Pabna-4 constituencies will take place soon as seats of parliament have fallen vacant recently after the demise of lawmakers Sahara Khatun and Shamsur Rahman Sherif.
By-polls to Sirajganj-1, Dhaka-5, and Naogoan-6, which fell vacant after the death of lawmakers Mohammad Nasim, Habibur Rahman Mollah, and Israfil Alam respectively, will also be held soon.
There are around 4,571 union parishads across the country. The last union parishad elections were held in several phases from March 22, 2016, to June 4, 2016.
According to union parishad election rules, an election should be held 180 days before the tenure of the union parishad is expired.
So, elections should be completed between the last week of September this year and the third week of March next year.