Sunday, October 20, 2019

Kamal Hossain signals two Gono Forum leaders may take oath

  • Senior Correspondent,
    Published: 2019-01-05 16:47:12 BdST

Gono Forum President Kamal Hossain signals that the two candidates from his party who won in the Dec 30 polls may take their seats in parliament.

“We are looking at the matter positively,” the Jatiya Oikya Front chief said. “And we will take a positive decision.”

There were doubts that the Gono Forum candidates would take their seats because the opposition alliance boycotted the results of the Dec 30 polls.

Awami League and Jatiya Party members of parliament took their oaths of office on Thursday, but the two Gono Forum winners and five BNP winners did not.

BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said that day: “The time for taking oaths has passed. Why would we take office if we are boycotting the results? We say clearly that we will not take the oaths.”

Kamal Hossain indicated that his party may diverge from the decision of its allies at a meeting on Saturday.

Asked whether the two winning Gono Forum candidates would take their seats, he said: “We are adopting a positive approach.”

“The two candidates who won did so in the face of difficult competition. We will take positive decisions in their case.”

Gono Forum candidate and former DUCSU Vice President Sultan Mohammad Monsur won as the paddy sheaf candidate from Moulvibazar-2, while Gono Forum’s Mukabbir Khan won with the party’s ‘rising sun’ symbol.

Asked whether Monsur’s election win under a paddy sheaf symbol could cause issues with the BNP, Kamal said he did not believe it would.

Kamal Hossain, a former Awami League leader, formed the Jatiya Oikya Front alliance with the BNP, but the two groups publicly disagreed on several matters.

During the opposition alliance’s meetings with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the BNP and Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir had wanted to focus on freeing Khaleda Zia, but Kamal Hossain had emphasised national interests above party interests.

Later Kamal Hossain had accepted the Election Commission’s assurances on the alliance’s seven-point demand for the elections, but Mirza Fakhrul had disagreed.

But both parties had come together after the polls to announce that it was boycotting the election results. On Thursday the two allies submitted their signed objections to the election in written form.

But two days later Kamal has indicated his party might join parliament while Mirza Fakhrul is in Noakhali.

BNP won only five seats in the Dec 30 polls, its lowest haul in the elections contested by the party.

This is the first time that the Gono Forum has won any seats since Kamal Hossain left the Awami League and formed the party.

Awami League leaders, who are forming their third consecutive government, have repeatedly called on the BNP to take their seats in parliament.

The Election Commission says that members of parliament who do not take their seats within 90 days will be dismissed and by-elections will be held for their seats.