BNP seeks presidential intervention to end political deadlock

Last Updated: Tuesday, November 19, 2013 - 21:16

Dhaka: Bangladesh`s main opposition BNP on Tuesday sought presidential intervention to end the political deadlock over electoral system, a day after an all-party government was installed to oversee the upcoming General Elections.

"We urged him (President Abdul Hamid) to take the initiative to get a dialogue started between the two major political parties to find a way out of the current political impasse," BNP`s acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir told reporters.

"The President has assured us that he will try (to act in this regard) within his constitutional capacity," he said after Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chief Khaleda Zia and leaders from the 18-party alliance met Hamid at the presidential palace.

Alamgir said during the nearly one-hour meeting, the President also told the opposition he would convey their views to the government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and expressed optimism about resolution of the crisis through discussions.

The President`s Office was yet to issue any statement on the meeting but an official told PTI that Hamid informed the 20-member delegation that no government in the past took steps to create constitutional provisions for presidential role during any such political deadlock.

The opposition meeting came shortly after chief election commissioner Kazi Rakibuddin along with four other commissioners called on the President to apprise him of its preparedness for the polls, due to be held by January 25 under a constitutional deadline.

"Preparations are afoot to hold a free and credible elections...We have informed the President that the Commission wants participation by all parties," Election Commission official said.

The developments came a day after Bangladesh installed an "all-party" interim government headed by Hasina to oversee upcoming elections despite boycott by BNP.

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 opposition has long been demanding restoration of a non-party caretaker government, a constitutional provision which was annulled in June 2011.

Opposition led protests over the issue have left nearly 30 people dead in the past three weeks.

PTI

First Published: Tuesday, November 19, 2013 - 21:16

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