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Head of Bangladesh anti-graft body resigns

Sultan Hossain Khan and one his deputies resigned in a move seen as crucial to the new Govt's corruption crackdown.

india Updated: Feb 07, 2007 18:24 IST

The head of Bangladesh's anti-graft commission and one his deputies resigned on Wednesday in a move seen as crucial to the new interim government's corruption crackdown.

"Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) chairman Sultan Hossain Khan and commissioner Moniruzzaman Mia resigned on Wednesday," an ACC official said on condition of anonymity.

"They have sent their resignation letters to the president without mentioning any reason for their resignation," the official added.

The commission was launched in November 2004 to replace the ineffectual Bureau of Anti-Corruption, but Bangladesh media have dismissed it as "comatose" and "dysfunctional" due to infighting among its top officials.

The officials however have blamed the failure on a lack of manpower and guidelines.

The new interim government has pledged to push through a raft of reforms to clean up political life in order to hold free and fair elections.

Opposition allegations of vote rigging led to the cancellation of polls planned for January 22 and a state of emergency.

The government's anti-corruption drive has seen at least 23 political leaders, including nine former ministers, arrested since Sunday.

The detainees have links to both the outgoing Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and the main opposition Awami League.

Anti-graft body Transparency International has repeatedly named Bangladesh among the world's most corrupt nations.

Until last year it had been named the most corrupt country for five years in a row. In October, however, the organisation said its performance had improved slightly placing it among the bottom eight above Iraq, Guinea, Myanmar and Haiti.

First Published: Feb 07, 2007 17:55 IST