AL plans to form poll-time govt sans alliance partners

The Awami League-led administration plans to form the election-time government without partners of the 14-party alliance to oversee the next parliamentary polls.


AL insiders said the poll-time government may be formed with incumbent Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as its head   while ministers from other parties of the alliance, including Jatiya party, may not be included in it.


“The next election will be held as per the constitution and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will lead the election-time government. There may be no room for the leaders of other parties in the poll-time government,” said an AL leader loishing not to be named.


Jatiya Party (Ershad) has been sharing the cabinet holding three portfolios while Workers Party of Bangladesh, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal and Jatiya Party (Manju) each have one representative in the council of ministers formed on January 12 in 2014.


JP’s Raushan Ershad, Ruhul Amin Hawlader, Anisul Islam Mahmud, Mujibul Haque Chunnu and Salma Islam, and Workers Party’s Rashed Khan Menon were few who were in the election-time government, formed in December 2013.


JP chairman Hussain Muhammad Ershad, who is also a special envoy of the premier, hinted that they would quit the cabinet ‘at an appropriate time’.


“We must resign.


I have already spoken to her [Hasina] about the matter,” he said recently.


Insiders said important ministries, including public administration ministry and home, would remain under AL president Sheikh Hasina, who had offered important ministries to BNP during the last elections.


Instead of accepting the proposal, the BNP-led alliance boycotted the last polls, demanding the election under caretaker administration.


AL sources said they will not offer important ministries to BNP this time as the party must participate in the next polls to save its registration.


AL general secretary Obaidul Quader said the Election Commission will conduct the 11th parliamentary polls while Sheikh Hasina-led government will carry out routine work during the elections.


“BNP chief Khaleda Zia is planning a poll-conducive government by staying abroad.

But there is no way to go beyond the constitution,” he said.


Though over one year is left for the next elections, both parties have locked horn by taking stern stance on their respective demand.


According to the Article 123 (3) (a) of the Constitution, a parliamentary election should be held within 90 days before the dissolution of the current parliament.


The current 10th parliament sat on January 29 in 2014 after the last January 5 national polls, meaning that the next election shall be held between October 31, 2018 and January 28, 2019.


Deviating from their earlier stance, the BNP has been asking the government to arrange the election under poll-helping government instead of the scrapped caretaker government system.


Ruling out the BNP’s demand, the AL leaders said the issue is settled by the constitution.


If BNP boycotts the polls this time, it may lose its registration with the EC. So, BNP must join the polls to save its skin, they said.


AL advisory council member Tofail Ahmed on Wednesday advised BNP not to expect neutral administration to participate in the next polls.


“You have to participate in the polls under the incumbent government. This government will be the poll-conducive government. There is no chance to have any other administration,” he said.


“The election will be held any day before 90 days of January 29, 2019. The government will assist the Election Commission,” he said.


The AL won more than two-third of parliamentary seats out of 300 in the January 5 election boycotted by the BNP-led 18-party coalition while the JP (Ershad) emerged as the second largest party in parliament winning 33 seats.

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