Though two lawmakers-elect of the Gonoforum have expressed willingness to join parliament, the party still sticks to its decision of not joining.
“The Gonoforum decided not to join parliament. The decision of its lawmakers' about not joining the House is still valid,” party's General Secretary Mostafa Mohsin Montu said in a press statement yesterday.
Earlier in the day, Gonoforum lawmaker-elect Sultan Mohammad Mansur said he and the other MP-elect of his party would join parliament.
“We will take oath and join parliament,” he told The Daily Star.
His statement came at a time when the Jatiya Oikyafront, an alliance of the BNP and some other parties, announced that its MPs-elect would not take oath.
The Gonoforum took part in the December 30 election as a key component of the Oikyafront.
Gonoforum candidates -- Mansur won in Moulvibazar-2 and Mokabbir Khan in Sylhet-2. The BNP got six seats, while ruling Awami League-led grand alliance bagged 289 seats.
The BNP, alleging election rigging, said the party would not join the House.
Gonoforum President Dr Kamal Hossain had once hinted at going to parliament, but he was silent after the BNP took the matter before him.
Mansur, former AL leader and Ducsu vice-president, told this newspaper that Gonoforum MPs-elect wanted to play a pro-people role in parliament.
In the press statement, Montu said, “The Jatiya Oikyafront's unity is intact. The news being run by various media outlets that elected lawmakers of the Gonoforum are joining parliament is untrue and baseless.”
AL General Secretary Obaidul Quader has called upon the BNP to reconsider its decision of not participating in the upcoming Upazila Parishad election.
“I don't know whether it's their final decision, but I would like to call upon them to reconsider their decision,” Quader, also road transport and bridges minister, told a press conference at his secretariat office.
Mentioning that the BNP had emerged victorious in the first phase of the previous upazila polls, he said the party should not be frustrated.
He said the polls would be competitive if the BNP contested.
Referring to the prime minister's invitation to 75 political parties, including the BNP, and alliances to exchange greetings over tea, Quader said it was not for dialogue; it was for exchanging pleasantries.
If they had come, there could have been a discussion there, he said, adding, “But the way they [BNP and Oikyafront] responded to the prime minister's invitation does not go with democratic norms. It is the continuation of their habitual negative politics.”
The Oikyafront declined Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's invitation for February 2, saying that there was no agenda for the meeting.