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Wednesday, December 31, 2008
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Hasina wants to work with opposition

Awami League (AL) workers greet Sheikh Hasina with flowers at her residence Sudha Sadan yesterday following the grand alliance's landslide victory. Inset, AL supporters throng Jatiya Press Club following news of Hasina's press conference, which was postponed. Photo: STAR

Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina yesterday said her party will work in unison with the opposition in parliament to strengthen democracy and develop the nation, true to the pledges that won the AL-led grand alliance a thumping majority in Monday's polls.

She made the observations at a meeting with a delegation of the United Nations election observers at her Sudha Sadan residence in Dhanmondi.

Quoting her, HT Imam, co-chairman of the AL election conduct committee, told reporters that the AL chief wants cooperation from the opposition parties in efforts to take the nation forward.

The UN mission chief said they would convey the AL president's message to the opposition.

The visiting polls observers said they hope the ruling and the opposition parties will work together in the interests of the nation.

Imam, also a former cabinet secretary, added that the UN team expressed satisfaction at the free and fair conduct of the general election.

Meanwhile, AL might form government on January 10, the homecoming day of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, said party sources.

It yesterday urged the Election Commission (EC) to take immediate measures to publish gazette of the election results. It also requested extension of the time limit for withdrawal of candidacy in the upazila election set for January 22. Today is the closing date for withdrawing from the local polls.

"Awami League Parliamentary Board will meet to elect the leader of parliament soon after its lawmakers-elect take oath," Imam said at a press briefing at Sudha Sadan.

The 11-member parliamentary board is comprised of party chief Sheikh Hasina, General Secretary Abdul Jalil, presidium members Zillur Rahman, Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury, Amir Hossain Amu, Abdur Razzak, Tofail Ahmed and Suranjit Sengupta, acting general secretary Syed Ashraful Islam, Joint General Secretary Obaidul Quader and Dr Alauddin Ahmad.

PRESS MEET
Hasina will address a press conference today at 11:00am at Bangladesh-China Friendship Conference Centre in the capital.

It will be her first after the election in which the AL-led grand alliance swept to power by a landslide.

Her scheduled meet with journalists at the Jatiya Press Club yesterday was postponed for reasons unexplained.

SONIA GREETS HASINA
President of the Indian National Congress Sonia Gandhi yesterday congratulated Sheikh Hasina on the grand alliance's winning a whopping 262 seats in the ninth parliamentary polls.

In a telephone conversation with the AL chief in the evening, the Congress leader said she hopes the relations between the two countries will grow even stronger in the days to come.

She also wished Hasina good health as well as success in her next role, Mahbubul Haque Shakil, deputy press secretary to AL president, told the reporters.

Hasina, poised to become the leader of the house and prime minister for the second time, thanked the Congress chief for the call.

LAWMAKERS-ELECT MEET HASINA
Hasina spent most of her time yesterday talking to party colleagues and a cross section of people who went to greet her at Sudha Sadan.

Workers Party President Rashed Khan Menon who won from Dhaka-8 constituency, Tanjim Ahmed Sohel, Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal, Meher Afroz Chumki, Rahmat Ali, AKM Rahmatullah and Mukul Bose, among others, exchanged greetings with her.

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