Bangladesh opposition calls three-day hartal, violence leaves 3 dead
The leaders and activists of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and its 17 allies including key Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami since morning marched towards the rally venue with banners, placards and “sheaf of paddy” election symbol of BNP, breaking through several obstacles on their way.
In an apparent move to de-escalate tension between ruling and opposition parties, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on October 18 proposed an all-party government be set up to hold general elections in the South Asian country.
But ex-Prime Minister Khaleda Zia’s BNP has rejected Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s all-party interim government proposal and tabled a new formula for administration.
Since June 2011 when Bangladesh Parliament abolished the non- party caretaker government system after an apex court verdict declared the 15-year-old constitutional provision illegal, the BNP- led alliance has been waging mass protests demanding for the reinstatement of the provision.
The scrapped provision mandated an elected government to transfer power to an unelected non-partisan caretaker administration to oversee a new parliamentary election on the completion of its term.
Khaleda has asked Hasina’s AL to bring back the caretaker system, or else, it won’t participate in the next polls because it fears an election without the caretaker government will not be free and fair.
The parliament is due to expire on Jan. 24 next year and elections should be held within 90 days before expiry of the parliament.