LDA to join election
Left Democratic Alliance (LDA) yesterday formally announced of taking part in the 11th parliamentary polls.
The coalition of eight left-leaning political parties made the announcement at a press conference held at Mukti Bhaban in the capital, claiming this is “part of its movement for fair polls and not to allow the government to hold a one-sided election.”
“We want to continue our movement till the end… It depends on the attitude of the government and Election Commission (EC) whether we will stay in the election or not in the end,” LDA Coordinator Shah Alam said at the conference.
Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) President Mujahidul Islam Selim said, “Our participation in the election doesn't mean that we acknowledge the election will be fair… We may boycott the election if the situation demands.”
For the last several months, LDA leaders have been demanding formation of a neutral caretaker government for the upcoming polls, dissolution of the current parliament and reconstruction of the EC.
The alliance had hoped that after the prime minister's dialogue with political parties, the government would change its stance on the issues, but to no avail.
The national election is scheduled to be held on December 30, and almost all political parties, including the key opposition alliance Jatiya Oikyafront, have already started selling nomination papers for the polls.
CPB, Socialist Party of Bangladesh (SPB), Revolutionary Workers Party of Bangladesh (RWPB), Ganosamhati Andolan, Socialist Party of Bangladesh - Marxist, United Communist League of Bangladesh, Ganatantrik Biplabi Party and Bangladesher Samajtantrik Andolan -- are components of the alliance.
Of those, only the first three are registered with the EC and have election symbols -- sickle for CPB, ladder for SPB and spade for RWPB.
As the alliance wants to nominate their candidates at all 300 constituencies, rest of the parties will participate in the election carrying any of the three symbols as per their choice, LDA leaders said.
Talking to The Daily Star, Shah Alam said, “We want to field candidates in 300 constituencies. We are strong in some places, but not everywhere like Awami League and BNP.”
“The parties have already started selection process to finalise their candidates in some constituencies. We will sit together on Thursday [tomorrow] to finalise all candidates as an alliance,” said Shah Alam, also general secretary of CPB.
Asked about LDA's capacity to compete at all constituencies, he said, “We will not be able to compete everywhere as some of the candidates may withdraw their nomination due to political factors, and someone's nomination may get cancelled.”
“However, we are confident that our candidates will contest in more than 200 constituencies,” added Shah Alam.
RWPB General Secretary Saiful Huq said, “We have primarily selected over 200 candidates so far, but it may increase.”
“Around 80-85 candidates from CPB, 65-70 form SPB, 25 from SPB-Marxist, 20 from RWPB, 10 from Ganatantrik Biplabi Party, 5-7 from Ganosamhati Andolan and 2 from Bangladesher Samajtantrik Andolan may compete in the election,” he added.
Ganosamhati Andolan's Chief Coordinator Zonayed Saki said their party would participate in the election either with the symbol of RWPB or independently under the alliance.