Main opposition BNP chief Khaleda Zia today rejected her arch-rival Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's proposal for an all-party government to oversee Bangladesh's upcoming election and floated a formula for creating a neutral poll-time regime.
Zia suggested the ruling Awami League and her Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) could each choose five persons from among 20 former advisers, who were part of two non-party regimes that oversaw polls in 1996 and 2001, to create the proposed interim government.
The "most acceptable person" for the two parties could head the government instead of the incumbent premier and the current parliament would endorse the structure in the same way that the House elects the President and Speaker, she said.
"In her address, she (Hasina) asked the opposition to agree to an uneven competition keeping power in her own hand...this is a proposal of convenience," Zia told a news conference that televised live.
According to Zia, Bangladesh witnessed two most credible elections under the non-party caretaker governments in 1996 and 2001 that brought the Awami League and BNP to power respectively.
Zia suggested that advisers or ministers from those regimes could be picked to run the interim government in a credible manner during the upcoming polls. She urged Hasina to take steps for talks on her proposal.
The proposals from the Awami League and BNP came amidst growing uncertainty about the fate of the election due to be held by January 25, 2014 and mounting tensions between the two parties.
In an address to the nation last week, Hasina suggested the formation of an all-party interim set-up.
"My proposal to the opposition party – we can constitute an all-party government during election time (and) I am requesting the opposition leader to respond to my proposal," Hasina said. PTI AR RHL 10211800 NNNN