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Talks b/w Bangla-Oppn fail to reach finishing line

Written by: Staff

Dhaka, Oct 25: The Government-Opposition dialogue to resolve disputes over coming parliamentary polls in Bangladesh virtually broke down today as ruling BNP finally rejected the Opposition's demand that former Chief Justice K M Hasan can not be the Chief Advisor of the caretaker government.

''The Opposition must accept Justice K M Hasan (as Chief Advisor) to reach any understanding,'' BNP secretary general Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan told a press conference at his official residence.

Mainstream Opposition led by Awami League (AL) president and former Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been opposing Justice Hasan as the Chief Advisor for being a founder member of BNP and its international affairs secretary before joining the High Court in late 1970s. The Opposition says elections can not be free and fair under a caretaker government headed by Justice Hasan.

Under the Bangladesh Constitution immediate retired Chief Justice would be the Chief Advisor of a non-party interim caretaker government to conduct the general elections.

Earlier, Mr Bhuiyan had six rounds of talk with his AL counterpart Abdul Jalil since October 5 to remove their differences on the issue.

At the last meeting on October 23, Mr Bhuiyan was learnt to have asked Mr Jalil whether the Opposition would accept present Chief Election Commissioner Justice M A Aziz as the Chief Advisor.

But, Justice Aziz was also not acceptable to the Opposition for his controversial activities as Chief Election Commissioner.

The AL led 14-party combine repeatedly declared that they would not participate in the coming elections under Justice Hasan's caretaker government and Justice Aziz as Chief Election Commissioner.

Ruling BNP and Opposition AL have planned mass rallies here on October 27-29 to demonstrate their political strength.

Outgoing Prime Minister Khaleda Zia will address the nation on October 27 on completion of her five years in office. Parliament will stand dissolved the same day paving way for caretaker government to take the charge of the state for the next three months.


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