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Ali Riaz comments on the ongoing political dialogue in Bangladesh

Ali Riaz at the podium

Distinguished Professor Dr. Ali Riaz

Ali Riaz has published a commentary on the ongoing political dialogue between the government and the opposition parties in Bangladesh regarding the forthcoming parliamentary elections. The commentary titled, “Trivialization of the dialogue is not the way to go” was published in the Daily Star of Bangladesh on November 6.

The government is holding a series of meetings described as “dialogue” with various political parties since November 2. It started after the newly formed opposition alliance, Jatiya Oikyofront, requested the PM to hold discussions before announcing the poll schedule.

The opposition parties are demanding that the current parliament be dissolved and Sheikh Hasina-led government resigns ahead of the election to ensure a free and fair election. The prime minister insists that free elections can be held with her party–the Awami League–in power. The opposition also demanded that stopping the repression against the opposition activists and lifting restrictions on media are necessary for a conducive environment for an inclusive election.

Riaz argues that despite a series of meetings, the government hasn’t demonstrated an willingness to compromise. Bangladesh had the last parliamentary elections in December 2014 which was boycotted by opposition, and was marred by serious irregularities and widespread violence.