PM proposes all-party interim government

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has proposed an all-party interim government to conduct the upcoming parliamentary elections, instead of bringing back the caretaker system.

Published : 18 Oct 2013, 02:16 PM
Updated : 18 Oct 2013, 07:32 PM

"I am expecting the opposition to positively respond to my proposal. We are sincere about putting our democracy on a firm footing and conducting a truly free and fair polls with the help of all parties," she said in her Friday address to the nation.

Hasina called upon the BNP-led opposition to select their representatives and name them for joining an all-party interim dispensation that, she says, will conduct the polls.

"This will be in keeping with the spirit of democracy and Constitution," she said.

She said the opposition's apprehension of poll-time irregularities were not founded on facts.

"So many elections have been conducted during our tenure and our party has lost those elections. Nobody can allege foul play in any of them."

But Hasina did not provide details of the structure of the interim government -- like how many members it will have and whether the representation will be proportionate to the strength of the parties in the current Parliament.

But in her speech, there appeared to be a clear hint that the details of the all-party interim government can be fine-tuned through negotiations.

"We sincerely want all parties to participate in the polls. We want nobody to be left out," she said.

In a dig at the opposition leader Sadeque Hossaion Khoka's threat to 'come out in the streets with machetes and axes', Hasina said that will not help.

"A reign of terror prevailed across the nation during the BNP's 2001-06 government. But did it help? It did not." Hasina said.

She blamed the BNP for not going ahead with 'concrete discussions' on the polls-time arrangement after placing an adjournment motion in Parliament.

"They backed off just when we thought we could discuss the motion and lead to some decisions."

Hasina recounted her government's achievements in ensuring gender justice, boosting economic development at a time of global recession, in pursuing the war crimes trials to punish the perpetrators of horrendous atrocities in 1971 and much else.