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Awami League (AL) has called for a complete withdrawal of the state of emergency before holding any elections.

The demand came at a meeting of the Presidium, the party's highest policymaking body, at acting president Zillur Rahman's Gulshan residence last night.

“The government too has admitted that election is not possible under the state of emergency. So lift it [emergency] completely for holding free, fair and acceptable polls,” AL acting general secretary Syed Ashraful Islam told reporters after the meeting.

AL is not against local government polls, he continued. “The only difference is the government wants to hold the local polls before the national election while we want the other way round.”

He hoped that the differences would be settled through discussions at the dialogue with the government.

About Commerce Adviser Hossain Zillur Rahman's recent statement that holding elections to all upazilas by October is possible, Ashraf said this proves the government has preparations to arrange any election.

“If so, the parliamentary polls too can be arranged before October,” he said.

The acting general secretary said they would take decisions on some crucial issues like local body elections and talks with the government at the AL Central Working Committee meeting tomorrow.

Yesterday's meeting was confined to discussions on health condition of Mohammad Nasim and Suranjit Sengupta.

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