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Mayor blames BNP leaders for emergency

Dhaka's mayor seeks decentralisation of power in the party and blames the top leadership for the current state of emergency.

world Updated: May 11, 2007 12:40 IST

Dhaka's mayor and influential BNP leader Sadek Hossain Khoka has blamed the top leadership of his party for the current state of emergency in Bangladesh and sought decentralisation of power in the party led by former premier Khaldea Zia.

"BNP leadership, too, cannot shrug off the blame," for the installation of the military-backed interim government, he said.

"The power of the BNP chairperson should be cut down and decentralised. Under the present party constitution, the BNP chairperson enjoys unlimited power. The chairperson does not need so much power," he was quoted as saying by the media in Dhaka.

Khoka's comments came days after another BNP and former minister in Zia's cabinet sharply criticised the party chief for her unilateral decisions escalating the growing debate on political reforms curbing authoritarian power of top leadership of major parties.

The reconstituted interim government was installed on January 12, a day after President Iajuddin Ahmed proclaimed the emergency postponing the general elections slated for 12th of the same month amid heightened tension and protracted political conflicts between BNP and Awami League of ex-premier Sheikh Hasina.

Khoka told media that his party had paved ways for the "current situation" increasing the retirement age of the chief justice apparently to install a "loyalist" former chief judge as the interim government chief resulting in a protracted street campaign by opposition parties.

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