AL open to withdraw in favour of Jatiya Party in race for Ershad’s seat

  • Staff Correspondent,
    Published: 2019-09-12 20:11:26 BdST

File Photo

The Awami League is open to reconsider and withdraw its candidate for Rangpur-3 in the parliamentary by-election if its key ally the Jatiya Party so wishes, Obaidul Quader has said.

The ruling party’s general secretary and road and bridges minister spoke at the Setu Bhaban in Dhaka over their plan on the by-election scheduled after the death of Jatiya Party chief HM Ershad.

Ershad’s son Rahgir Al Mahi Shad, known as Shad Ershad, is contesting for the seat as a candidate of the party his father founded.

The Awami League has selected its Rangpur district unit General Secretary Rezaul Karim Razu for the by-election.

Asked whether the ruling party was ready to leave the seat for Jatiya Party to fight, Quader said the Jatiya Party is entitled to contest the by-election separately.

“And if they want to contest under the alliance, we will consider it. We have a candidate now. Nothing can be said for sure until discussions are held,” he said.

They had held discussions but were yet to reach a consensus, Quader said.

“We will confirm it within the deadline for [nomination] withdrawal,” he added.

The last date for withdrawing candidature for the Oct 5 by-election is Sept 16.

The seat was declared vacant after the 90-year-old Ershad, the leader of the official opposition in the 11th parliament, died on Jul 14.

His nephew Hossain Moqbul Shahriar Asif is running for the seat as an independent candidate after his failure to secure Jatiya Party nomination.

Rieta Rahman is the BNP candidate for the seat. She is the daughter of Mashiur Rahman Jadu Mia, a former member of BNP founder Ziaur Rahman’s cabinet. Her brother Shafiqul Ghani Swapan is former Jatiya Party MP.

The event where Quader was speaking to the reporters was organised to mark the signing of a deal between the government and a South Korean firm, Korea Expressway Corporation, to maintain the tolling work on the Padma Bridge.