Technocrat ministers asked to step down
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has asked the technocrat ministers of her cabinet to step down after announcement of the election schedule.
The directive was given during today’s cabinet meeting held at Prime Minister’s Office, a senior minister of the cabinet told The Daily Star on anonymity.
“There is no space for unelected individuals at the election-time cabinet,” he said.
Currently, there are four technocrat ministers at the cabinet: Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Nurul Islam, State Minister for Science and Technology Yafes Osman, Religious Affairs Minister Motiur Rahman, and ICT Minister Mustafa Jabbar.
Also, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will be addressing the nation to uphold the status of overall situation and the upcoming election on Thursday.
WHEN IS THE POLLS SCHEDULE?
Earlier on November 4, Election Commission announced that it will be announcing the complete election schedule on November 8.
The schedule will include the dates of collecting nomination, submitting nomination, scrutinising the nominations and withdrawal of nominations.
According to what is being said, the general election is likely to be held in December.
WHAT IS THIS IMPASSE?
All the opposition parties and alliances have demanded for holding the general election under a nonpartisan government and dissolution of the parliament ahead of it.
However, ruling Awami League has repeatedly asserted that it will keep to the constitution – meaning that the election will be held under its government.
Apart from this major issue, there are several other major demands, like the release of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia from jail and use of electronic voting.
Also, the opposition parties have been accusing the Election Commission of subservience to the government and walking the path as instructed to it.
HOW IS THE DIALOGUE PROGRESSING?
The first round of dialogue, held after a letter of interest from the Oikyafront, was held on November 1. Oikyafront said they were not happy with it.
Now, a second round of talks with the ruling alliance, with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair, will be held tomorrow (November 7).
Meanwhile, Awami League has held talks with Jatiya Party and Bikalpa Dhara-led alliance Juktofront. Invitations have been handed out to several others.
Today, talks will be held with Islamic Democratic Alliance, Left Democratic Alliance and Zaker Party.