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Hasina proposes all-party interim government for polls

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Hasina proposes all-party interim government for polls
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Dhaka: With a few days left for the current parliament's term to end, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Friday proposed an all-party interim government during the election time.

"We want to hold the election with participation of all parties. My proposal to the opposition party is that we can form an all-party election-time government," Hasina, who heads the ruling Awami League, said in a televised address to the nation Friday evening.

In her around 20-minute speech, Hasina asked the opposition, namely the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), to propose the names of its lawmakers for inclusion in the interim cabinet council.

BNP chief and former prime minister Khaleda Zia has said her party will not take part in the polls unless the now-scrapped caretaker government system is restored through a constitutional amendment. She has said her party believes elections under the incumbent government will not be fair.

The prime minister asked Zia to shun the path of violence and come to the parliament for a discussion on their demand. "We are still open to a dialogue."

Hasina said according to the Section-1 of Article 72 of Bangladesh Constitution, the election will be held as per the prime minister's written instruction to the president and the Election Commission will announce the schedule for the national election.

"After consulting with all parties - particularly the grand alliance -I will give a written instruction to the president so that the election is held within 90 days," she said. "I will also expect suggestions from the opposition in this regard."

The address comes at a time when both the political parties are in confrontation over the upcoming general election.

Both the ruling and opposition parties have called rallies for Oct 25 in Dhaka city, heightening tension across the country.

The constitution states the election must be held within 90 days of the end of the tenure of the parliament. The current parliament ends its tenure Oct 25 and polls must be held by Jan 25, 2014.

IANS

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