Bangladesh installs all party interim govt to oversee elections
Dhaka: Poll-bound Bangladesh on Monday installed an "all-party" interim government headed by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to oversee upcoming elections despite boycott by the main opposition BNP which termed the move as "farce", heightening tension in the country.
Six ministers and two state ministers took oath to join an election-time Cabinet. President Abdul Hamid administered the oath at the presidential palace.
All the new ministers are from the constituents of the Awami League-led grand alliance.
The new ministers are: Amir Hossain Amu and Tofail Ahmed (Awami League), Rashed Khan Menon (Workers Party), and Anisul Islam Mahmud, Ruhul Amin Hawlader and Rawshan Ershad (Jatiya Party).
The state ministers are: Mujibul Haque Chunnu and Salma Islam (Jatiya Party).
The Bangladesh Nationalist Party and its 18-party alliance have repeatedly rejected Hasina`s call to join the all-party government, saying elections would not be credible under her leadership. The BNP termed the all-party cabinet as "farce".
The opposition have long been demanding restoration of a non-party caretaker government, a constitutional provision which was annulled in June 2011.
The formation of an all party government headed by Hasina has pitted the ruling Awami League against the BNP, raising fear of violence ahead of the election to be held by Janaury 25.
Hasina called on the President last evening and explained her idea about the all-party government. Hasina`s meeting with the president came hours after the former Cabinet held an emergency meeting.
Last week, the ministers had handed their resignation letters to Hasina to pave the way for constituting the all-party government.
BNP`s acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir in a statement yesterday said, "It`s just another farce of the grand alliance government" while the party`s joint secretary general said "the all-party government is just another version of the grand alliance government".
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