Bangladeshi PM holds dialogue with major opposition alliance over polls

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DHAKA –Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina held a dialogue with the leaders of a newly formed opposition alliance on Thursday night over the general election slated for December. 

The much-hyped dialogue ended at about 11:00 p.m. local time which started at about 7:00 p.m. local time at the prime minister's official residence in Dhaka. 

Hasina's ruling Bangladesh Awami League (AL) party on Tuesday invited the major opposition alliance for a dialogue. 
Former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia's Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) in earlier October forged the alliance "Jatiya Oikya Front (United National Front)". 

The alliance led by Kamal Hossain, a former foreign minister and a prominent lawyer who drafted Bangladesh constitution after the country's independence, has been demanding the upcoming 11th national election be held under a nonpartisan government and the immediate release of all political prisoners including BNP chairperson Zia, who has been in jail since February in a corruption case. 

BNP spokesman Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, while leaving the prime minister's official residence, told journalists that the dialogue was not fruitful. 

A ruling party spokesman was not immediately available for comments. 


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