BNP-led four-party alliance put forward a five-point demand
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  • On September 29, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP)-led four-party alliance placed before the government and the Election Commission, a five-point demand that included withdrawal of state of emergency and scrapping of the Representation of the People Order (Amendment) 2008, as conditions for participating in the upcoming parliamentary election. The other demands are holding of upazila elections after a reasonable interval of the national polls, withdrawal of the Gatco, Niko and Barapukuria corruption cases and other false cases against alliance leaders, and release of all political leaders, activists and general people detained without specific charges and withdrawal of the cases against them1. Meanwhile, the BNP has decided to sit for a dialogue with the government on October 15 where it is expected to raise issues like registration with the Election Commission, lifting the state of emergency and ensuring a level playing field for all political parties for participation in parliamentary polls2. Meanwhile, the Awami League (AL) has also strongly opposed the Election Commission’s authority to cancel candidatures in parliamentary polls on grounds of violation of electoral laws3.

    In another important development, the Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh will have to make fundamental changes in its constitution in order to get registered with the Election Commission so that it qualifies for participating in the forthcoming parliamentary polls4. The Jamaat-e-Islami on October 9, said that it will get registered as a political party, and if necessary, amend its constitution for that5. Elsewhere, the Jatiya Party has also decided to bring amendments to its constitution in order to register with the Election Commission6.

    On the military front, the Bangladesh Navy ship Khalid Bin Walid left Chittagong Port on October 2 for Qatar to join an international sea exercise 'Exercise Ferocious
    Falcon' scheduled to be held on October 11. A total of 49 countries, including the US, the UK, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Poland and NATO, are participating in the 12-day exercise7.