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The Jatiya Oikya Front has called on the Election Commission to postpone the announcement of the election schedule until the prime minister completes her discussions with all political parties. A letter signed by Dr Kamal Hossain was delivered to the offices of the chief election commissioner by Gono Forum leader Rafiqul Islam Pathik. The CEC was leading the 38th meeting of the commission at the time. - A home for your website

The letter said that the talks between the prime minister and various political parties were continuing uninterrupted. The Awami League general secretary had said the Oikya Front could have another meeting with the prime minister after Nov 8, it said.

The Oikya Front was eager to meet with the prime minister again, it said.

After a meeting with the president on Thursday, the CEC had said the commission would decide when to announce the schedule at a meeting on Nov 4.

“On this basis we believe the decision to announce the schedule is a political one. It is best for the EC to hold off until the discussions with the honourable prime minister were concluded,” Dr Kamal said in the letter.

“By setting the date for the announcement accordingly, the EC can play an important role in increasing its credibility to the parties and to the people,” he said.

Prime Minister and Awami League President Sheikh Hasina had unexpectedly sat for discussions with the Jatiya Oikya Front at the Ganabhaban on Thursday amid preparations for the Eleventh National Parliamentary Elections.

Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader had previously invited other political parties for talks and said the door was open until Nov 8.

But on Saturday, after paying his respects to Bangabandhu on Jail Killing Day, Quader said the party had to bring the deadline forward.

“We are unable to meet until Nov 8,” he told the media in response to a question. “We will complete discussions on Nov 7. There will be no further talks after that.”