Politicians call for early elections in Bangladesh | india | Hindustan Times
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Politicians call for early elections in Bangladesh

india Updated: Jan 23, 2007 14:53 IST
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Bangladesh's rival political alliances have cautioned the caretaker administration against delaying general elections and expressed hope that credible polls are held at the earliest after reconstituting the Election Commission.

Bangladesh National Party (BNP) Secretary General Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan thanked the Chief Adviser (CA) for promising to hold an election "as soon as possible" but pointed that he did not give a specific time frame for polls after the January 22 voting was cancelled.

"The caretaker government should remain aware so that the election is not delayed under any pretext," said Bhuiyan.

Bangladesh interim government chief Fakhruddin Ahmed said on Sunday that he would hold the polls in the quickest possible time.

Bhuiyan cautioned that some agenda of the caretaker government like introducing voter ID cards was the responsibility of an elected government.

"The chief adviser talked about resolving a lot of problems but it is not possible without long term plans and actions.

And so, we think it is the duty of an elected government to do such things to serve the interest of the people," he told reporters last night in Dhaka.

The Awami League (AL)-led 14-party alliance also expressed hope that Fakhruddin Ahmed will take measurers to hold a free, fair and credible general elections as early as possible by reconstituting the Election Commission (EC).

Abdul Jalil, the AL general secretary, said the people hope that the new CA will hand over power to an elected government following a fair and credible election.

The AL leader said it is a must to arrest corrupt people, criminals and their godfathers, illegal arms and black money holders to create a congenial atmosphere for a free and fair poll and build people's confidence in the polls process.

Thousands of alleged and wanted criminals along with political activists have been detained since the new caretaker government came in more than a week ago.

The two political parties found common ground in urging the government to ensure that "innocent political leaders and workers are not harassed."

Jalil also felt Ahmed would be able to help build a prosperous nation by implementing his pledges of taking measures against corruption and other criminal activities.

He said the CA's speech has legitimised their demands for reconstituting the EC, depoliticising the administration, preparing a flawless voter roll, installing transparent ballot boxes, making voter identity cards and improving the law and order for free and fair polls.

"These demands are people's demands and that have been reflected in the speech of the chief adviser," said the 14-party leader.

The Dhaka-based diplomatic community backed Ahmed's government's intiatives and hoped polls would be held soon.

Meanwhile, The New Age newspaper has described the caretaker administration as "military backed" because the sudden changes were reportedly possible due to the help of the armed forces.

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