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3. Oktober 2012 3 03 /10 /Oktober /2012 13:47
by Naim-Ul-Karim
DHAKA, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- Bangladesh's main opposition in parliament Thursday strongly condemned and protested an apex court verdict that advocates holding the country's next national elections under the incumbent government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina instead of a non-party caretaker system.
Bangladesh's Supreme Court (SC) Sunday released the full text of its verdict declaring illegal the constitutional provision for caretaker government to hold next elections slated for early 2014.
The caretaker system, in which Bangladesh is ruled by a selected government for an interim period (90 days) during transition from one government to another after the completion of the former, was initially introduced in 1990 after military strongman HM Ershad was deposed.
The SC of Bangladesh, a parliamentary democracy, on May 10, 2011 repealed the 13th amendment in constitution through which the system was institutionalized.
Khaleda Zia, chairperson of main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), termed the full text of the SC verdict on caretaker government system as "unclear, unacceptable and politically motivated."
The main opposition party leader Zia, also two-time former prime minister of Bangladsh, said there is no similarity between the short order announced in public on May 10, 2011 -- just a week before the then Chief Justice Khairul Haque went to retirement, and the verdict's full text released on Sunday.
She said the then Chief Justice Haque in his publicly announced short order mentioned "although the non-party caretaker government is illegal but the next 10th and 11th parliamentary elections may be held under the system to avoid chaos."
But 16 months after going to his retirement, the same Haque released the full text of the verdict on Sunday, proposing to hold parliament elections under a political government instead of the caretaker government system.
"We strongly condemn and protest this behavior by him (Haque)," Zia said at a press briefing which was convened to explain her party's stance on an the apex court verdict.
Khaleda said the SC verdict on the constitution's 13th amendment has been "distorted" in its full text only to implement the "prime minister's plan" for holding the next election under a small cabinet.
"We think the full text of verdict is nothing but a reflection of the prime minister's recent proposals on election-time government."
Hasina has recently proposed formation of a small cabinet that would also include BNP representatives for holding the next general election.
"We won't join election under such a government.We'll join election only if the government reinstates the non-party interim caretaker government system," said Khaleda.
The caretaker system was institutionalized through the 13th amendment in constitution in 1996 by the then BNP government under pressure from the then main opposition AL, now ruling party. Since 1996, the caretaker government has held the elections of 1996, 2001 and 2008.
Defending the 1996 movement led by her party for introducing the caretaker system, Hasina Wednesday in her parliament speech said, "now the Election Commission is independent and strong enough to hold free and fair polls.
"People were able to elect the candidates of their own choice in the elections held during the last three and a half years of our government. So, there is no need for the caretaker government," Hasina claimed.
Khaleda alleged that prime minister plans "an arranged election under her government to return to power as their popularity eroded due to failures to implement many of the election manifestos."
She threatened to wage a countrywide tougher movement if the long-drawn demand of her 18-party alliance for therestoration of the caretaker government system to hold next elections remains unheeded.
"Protest will continue until our demand for a non-party neutral government to hold the next general elections was met," she added.
She, however, apprehended that "unwanted discomfort will be created in the country and political crisis will further be deepened due to such verdict."
Bangladesh's opposition condemns court verdict to hold election under incumbent government
English.news.cn   2012-09-20 21:54:30
 
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