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Awami League supports intra-party reforms

world Updated: May 12, 2007 09:33 IST
PTI
Awami League

As the demand for reforms gains momentum among political parties in Bangladesh, two senior leaders of former prime minister Sheikh Hasina's Awami League have stressed on intra-party democracy, echoing concern raised by one of their counterparts in the rival Bangladesh Nationalist Party.

"The party council is the only forum where the delegates will decide who should be the party chief, but many of us often speak in that forum to make someone happy," influential Awami League presidium member and former commerce minister Tofail Ahmed told the private ATN Bangla television.

In an interview with private BDnews24 news agency, Awami League general secretary Abdul Jalil also echoed Ahmed's concerns underlining direct vote to elect the leadership of any political party from top to down.

But he said he would not go public with his thoughts "unlike a few colleagues as I am the party spokesman, others are not." Jalil, however, hastened to add "whatever reform it may be Sheikh Hasina will be kept in the loop" as he described reforms to be an "ongoing process".

On Friday, Dhaka's mayor and influential Bangladesh Nationalist Party leader Sadek Hossain Khoka had suggested that her party chief and former premier Khaleda Zia's "unlimited power" be clipped.

Until recently, no stalwart of BNP or Awami League or BNP ever questioned any decision of the two women leaders fearing expulsions or wraths of "loyalists".

Khoka had blamed fellow politicians including top leadership of his party for the current state of emergency.