Bangladesh opposition wants poll-time govt

Opposition parties called for forming a nonpartisan caretaker government to supervise upcoming parliamentary elections, but PM Hasina rejected the call

Bangladesh opposition wants poll-time govt

World Bulletin/News Desk

Bangladeshi opposition leader and former premier Khaleda Zia on Monday proposed forming an interim election-time government comprised of former members of previous constitutional caretaker governments.

"I propose that the ruling party announces five members and the opposition five from the 20 advisers who served in the two caretaker governments of 1996 and 2001," Zia, leader of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), told a press conference.

"They will be advisers of the coming poll-time government," she added.

Bangladesh had two ten-member, non-party caretaker governments in 1996 and 2001.

"A respectable person who will be acceptable to all and [enjoy the] consensus of government and opposition can be selected to head the interim poll-time government," explained Zia, who leads an 18-party opposition coalition.

Opposition parties had earlier called for forming a nonpartisan caretaker government to supervise upcoming parliamentary elections.

But Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, leader of the ruling Bangladesh Awami League (BAL), has ruled out the formation of a caretaker government to oversee the polls.

Instead, Hasina proposed forming an all-party interim government to conduct looming parliamentary elections.

However, Zia, a two-time former premier, dismissed the proposal as "disappointing [and] unacceptable."

She argued that the prime minister's speech had "frustrated the nation, as there is no clear guideline to hold a free and fair election."   

Under the country's recently amended constitution, elections should be held 90 days before the outgoing parliament ends its tenure on January 24.


The opposition leader urged Premier Hasina to consider the new proposal.

"I hope the prime minister will accept my proposal for the sake of peace, stability and the democracy of the country," Zia said.

"I urge her to take the necessary steps to set up a poll-time constitutional government," added the BNP leader.

She went on to assert that, if necessary, the proposed government could be elected by the sitting parliament.

"I still believe all matters can be resolved by dialogue," Zia said. "There is no alternative to holding an inclusive election for the march forward of democracy in the country."

The two-time former premier said she hoped to form a "government by the people" after the next general elections.

Zia served as prime minister of Bangladesh from 1991 to 1996 and again from 2001 to 2006.

Monday's press conference was attended by Jamaat-e-Islami deputy leader AKM Nazir Ahmad and BNP acting secretary-general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, along with leading figures of the 18-party alliance.

Last Mod: 22 Ekim 2013, 09:43
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