AL wins 8 mayoral posts; BNP terms the elections ‘unconstitutional’; Govt.: Emergency not to be lifted before parliamentary elections in December; US appreciates conduct of mayoral and municipality elections
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  • Elections to the four city corporations and nine municipalities were conducted on August 41. The AL dominated these elections as its candidates won eight mayoral posts out of nine, while the BNP-nominated candidate secured one post in the municipality elections2. The AL on its part stuck to its position of not participating in the parliamentary elections without the lifting of the emergency3. AL’s acting President Zillur Rahman asserted that elections would lack enthusiasm among the people due to the state of emergency4.

    BNP leader Khandker Delwar Hossain criticised the caretaker government for conducting the provincial elections, terming them 'unconstitutional.' It asserted that the caretaker government planned to create a group through local body elections which would allow them to cling to power5. AL’s acting General Secretary Syed Ashraful Islam alleged that the BNP was trying to jeopardize the environment of parliamentary polls by stigmatizing the local body elections as an 'election of entente6.'

    The caretaker government however asserted that it would not lift the emergency before the parliamentary polls in December7. The United States on its part appreciated the conduct of the municipal and mayoral polls as an important step towards the establishment of a democratically-elected government8.

    In other developments, the Bangladeshi government announced that it will start talks with neighbours, including with India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, to forge bi-lateral Free Trade Agreements9.