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Bangladesh moves to form all-party govt within next 15 days

Last Updated: Wednesday, November 6, 2013 - 00:15

Dhaka: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will go ahead with her plan to form an all-party government in the next 15 days to oversee the next general elections, notwithstanding strikes and a poll boycott threat from the opposition demanding a neutral caretaker regime.

Ministers will resign within a week to form the all-party poll-time government, Hasina told a cabinet meeting yesterday.

"The existing cabinet members will resign first to pave way for constituting the all-party government in next 15 days," a spokesman of the premier quoted her as saying.

The remark comes at a time when the BNP-led 18-party opposition alliance called its second 60-hour strike within a week to press for the restoration of the neutral caretaker government system to oversee the polls scheduled to be held by January 25, 2014.

A total of 26 people have died in political violence since October 25, including four killed in different parts of the country yesterday.
Communications Minister Obaidul Quader said his cabinet colleagues will submit their resignations to Hasina within a week.

"After submitting their resignations, those who would be in the all-party government, won`t need to take oath anew," Quader was quoted as saying by Bdnews24.

Meanwhile, Mahbubul Alam Hanif, joint general secretary of the ruling Awami League, said the members of the all-party government would be picked up from the political parties representing in the Jatiya Sangsad (parliament).

Last month in her address to the nation, Hasina proposed an all-party government for polls oversight. Zia, however, rejected the proposal and floated a formula for creating a neutral poll-time caretaker regime.

Zia has also ruled out the possibility of contesting polls, if Hasina remained as head of the government.

The Awami League, which has a three-fourths majority in the current parliament, scrapped the caretaker system by amending the Constitution two years ago. It acted after the Supreme Court ruled that the system was contrary to the Constitution.

The BNP has repeatedly contended that polls will be fair only under a non-party government.

But the Awami League insisted that the caretaker system had proved counter-productive as it was abused and it failed to protect democracy. It further said the system paved the ways for installation of army-backed regimes.

First Published: Wednesday, November 6, 2013 - 00:15
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