Bangladesh ministers quit for poll-time government formation
Dhaka – Bangladesh government ministers have submitted their resignations to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina ahead of the cabinet reshuffle as part of the formation of an all-party interim government to conduct parliament polls slated for early 2014.
Cabinet Secretary Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan told the media that the resignation letters were submitted to the prime minister during Monday’s regular cabinet meeting, Xinhua reported.
“Ministers tendered resignation letters to pave the way for formation of the poll-time government,” he said
“But the ministers will stay in office until the president accepts their letters,” he added.
Despite the main opposition alliance’s threat to boycott elections, the ruling coalition has initiated moves to form an all-party poll-time interim cabinet in line with Prime Minister Hasina’s proposal.
At a cabinet meeting Nov 5, the ministers reportedly decided that they would resign in the next seven days to pave the way for the formation of the all-party poll-time government headed by Prime Minister Hasina.
Ex-prime minister Khaleda Zia’s main opposition alliance has already rejected Hasina’s all-party poll-time government proposal.
Khaleda had asked Hasina’s Awami League (AL) party to bring back a non-party caretaker system or else it wouldn’t participate in the next polls because it feared an election without a caretaker government would not be free and fair.
Khaleda’s Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and its 17 allies, including key Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami party, have enforced a third long strike since Sunday morning, this time for 84 hours, demanding a non-party government to oversee elections.
The South Asian country’s two arch rivals, who alternately ruled Bangladesh for more than the last couple of decades, held talks over phone Oct 26, the first direct conversation between the two leaders since January, 2009, when Hasina’s cabinet took oath of office.
Although the two parties are seeking a dialogue to end the impasse over the formation of the poll-time government, no headway has been made so far.
Parliament is due to expire on Jan 24 next year and elections reportedly should be held within 90 days before its expiry.