Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia, former prime ministers of Bangladesh who are jailed for graft, have asked their party members not to cooperate with the army-backed caretaker government’s proposed political dialogue next month.
Demanding immediate elections through their lawyers, Hasina and Khaleda have conveyed to the government that keeping them in jail and thus out of politics, would not help the country return to normalcy.
Chief advisor Fakhruddin Ahmed’s aide Syed Fahim Munaim had on Sunday said that the dialogue would begin in May.
“The formal dialogues will begin next month, I think in the first or second week of the month,” Munaim was quoted as saying by New Age newspaper on Monday.
An “informal” dialogue the government has conducted in recent weeks was seen as a partial success. It has received support from former military ruler H.M. Ershad, who has returned to lead the Jatiya party after a long hiatus.
Ershad last week said it was possible to hold elections under the prevailing national emergency. Advocating “cleansing” of public life, legal luminary and former minister Kamal Hossain has been supportive of the government’s moves.