Bangladesh`s ruling ally threatens to quit

Ex-Bangladesh president HM Ershad heads third-largest party in Parliament.

Updated: Mar 13, 2011, 14:54 PM IST

Dhaka: Former Bangladesh president HM Ershad, who heads the third-largest party in Parliament, has said his Jatiya Party might quit the ruling alliance of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina "if not properly evaluated".

Ershad, also a former Army chief, has been increasingly critical of the government alleging mismanagement of the economy, power situation and law and order in the country.

The Jatiya Party`s withdrawal is unlikely to threaten the overwhelming majority of Sheikh Hasina`s Awami League, which holds 230 seats in the 345-member Parliament.

Ershad`s party, which won seven percent of the vote in the 2008 general elections, has 27 members. He has some ministers, including his brother, in the government, but wants more.

"We have not been given our due share in the government, do not get cooperation from the government and our suggestions and recommendations are not considered," the New Age newspaper quoted him as telling party officials.

Bangladeshi Supreme Court last year annulled all the constitutional amendments made during Ershad`s regime 1983-1990.

The apex court even prescribed punishment for Ershad in one of the cases against him. But Hasina resisted demands from other alliance partners that he should be prosecuted.

Ershad had several graft cases against him. According to media reports, the government has favoured his acquittal.

In the past, Ershad had sought alliance with Hasina`s rival, former prime minister and opposition leader Khaleda Zia, reportedly on the condition that he would be made the country`s president again.

IANS