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Ershad proposes interim poll-time government without BNP

  • Published at 09:22 am October 9th, 2017
  • Last updated at 07:15 pm October 9th, 2017
Ershad proposes interim poll-time government without BNP
Jatiya Party (JaPa) Chairman HM Ershad on Monday proposed forming a neutral election-time body with incumbent MPs to oversee the next national election. Placing his party’s eight-point proposal before the Election Commission, the former military dictator also advocated for the deployment of the armed forces during the elections. A 25-member JaPa delegation led by Ershad met Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda on Monday morning as part of the Election Commission’s dialogue with political parties before the next parliamentary polls. According to the current law, the armed forces will stay at camps during the election and can be called on during an emergency to assist the civil administration, if the EC wants. However, Ershad said that the general perception is that the army ensures a free and fair election. “Therefore, our recommendation is same as the general people’s demand. We had a good discussion with the Election Commission and they have assured us there will be a free and fair general election,” he later told reporters. Ershad also recommended dissolving parliament after the election schedule is announced. On the formation of an interim government with MPs, he said: “Unfortunately, the BNP cannot be part of this as the party does not have any representation in parliament.” Briefing reporters after the meeting, he said: “The Election Commission is not responsible for forming an interim government but the government is. Since the government did it the last time, we hope they will do the same this time too. “I cannot say if the election will be acceptable without the BNP’s participation. I cannot say if they are a big party but we do hope they participate.” The BNP and its allies boycotted the 2014 general election, demanding restoration of the non-party caretaker government system introduced in the mid-’90s to end electoral violence and fraud. The system was scrapped in 2011 by the Awami League-led government. Sheikh Hasina’s administration also changed the law to allow the incumbent government to oversee elections. Ershad also spoke about his experience of visiting the Rogingya camps, saying: “We went to distribute aid and we saw a very difficult situation there. I pray the prime minister can rehabilitate them, but it will not be easy. We have been left alone without any support from India, China or Russia.”
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