UN chief phones PM, Khaleda

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UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Friday discussed the latest political development and the next general elections in Bangladesh with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and opposition leader Khaleda Zia.
He phoned Hasina in the morning and Khaleda in the evening, officials said.
During the telephone conversation, the premier called upon the opposition to join the next parliament session and place its proposal over the election-time government, reports UNB.
“We’ll welcome any proposal from them (opposition) in the next parliament session,” she told the UN chief when he phoned her.
Ban Ki-moon called the premier in the morning and had discussions on various issues for a long time, PM’s Media Adviser Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury told UNB over telephone.
He said the prime minister informed the UN secretary general that the government always gives emphasis on dialogues or discussions for resolving any issue.
“That’s why we offer them (opposition) to engage in a dialogue, but they issued a 48-hour ultimatum instead. They tried to topple the elected government. Later, they destroyed the country’s peace and political stability by resorting to terrorism, anarchy and sabotage,” she told Ban Ki-moon.
Hasina expressed her high hope that the next general election will be held in due time and people will be able to cast their votes freely.
Meanwhile, the UN chief rang BNP Chairperson Khaleda around 6:45pm and had a 30-minute conversation, said BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.
The BNP spokesperson later briefed the media on the telephone conversation.
He said the UN chief discussed the latest political situation and the next general election of the country with the BNP chief.
Fakhrul said Ban Ki-moon told Khaleda that the United Nations had been observing the political development in the country very seriously.
The UN Secretary General said they want to see a free, fair and acceptable election participated by all political parties. He called upon both the ruling and the opposition parties to work out a solution through a dialogue to ensure all parties’ participation in the next election.
In her turn, Fakhrul said, Khaleda told the UN chief that she and her party had repeatedly been saying for a dialogue and discussions to find a way out of the situation.
“There no alternative to a dialogue to save the democracy,” Fakhrul quoted Khaleda as saying.
The BNP chief told the UN chief that the opposition would not go to any election under the Awami League government.
“Ninety percent people, civil society and political parties believe that there is no alternative to a non-party government and strengthened, independent election commission during the election,” Fakhrul quoted Khaleda as telling the UN Secretary General.

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