Power transfer in Bangladesh in a week: official


Dhaka : Bangladesh’s military-backed caretaker government will
transfer power to the victors of the Monday poll in a week, a senior
official said Tuesday.

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Adviser (minister) M. Anwarul Iqbal said the newly elected government will
take office in seven days through a gazette publication.

Former prime minister Sheikh Hasina and the nine-party alliance led by her
Awami League raced to a landslide victory Tuesday, winning 259 seats of the
299 seats in Bangladesh’s ninth general election.

“The new government will be formed after the members-elect take oath as MPs;
then the caretaker government will hand over charge to the incumbent new
administration,” Iqbal said.

The adviser said: “A gazette is published in three to seven days after the
results are announced. Therefore, there is no scope to go beyond 7-10 days.”

The constitutional process would begin following the outcome of the ninth
general election held Monday.

Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed, who performs the prime ministerial functions
in the caretaker government, had said at the end of the day-long polling
that he felt enthused by the exercise and looked forward to transferring
power to the victors.

The ninth parliamentary polls recorded a stunning 80 percent voter turnout,
breaking all records of the previous eight national elections, said an
Election Commission official.

“The voter turnout this year will break all the previous records and the
percentage right now is 80 percent which may climb,” Election Commission
secretary Humayun Kabir said Tuesday.

“The previous record was 75.6 percent in the 1996 election,” he said.

Begum Khaleda Zia, two-term prime minister who lost the poll, indicated
rigging by complaining of electoral malpractices in 220 constituencies.

However, there was no further word from her shell-shocked alliance Tuesday.

Incidents of violence were reported in the wake of the poll and its outcome.

A supporter of Zia’s Bangladesh Nationalist Party was killed and two others
were injured in Pabna in northern Bangladesh.

A Jubo League worker of the youth front of the Hasina-led Awami League was
injured in Comilla, Star Online said.

Milling crowds prevented Hasina from attending her party office or address
the media as planned Tuesday afternoon.

The venue would be changed and she would speak Wednesday, the party office

“Hasina will convey the reasons behind the grand alliance’s grand victory at
the press briefing,” said her press secretary Abdul Kalam Azad.

The caretaker government took credit for the successful conducting of the
poll, as promised to the world community earlier this year.

Fakhruddin Ahmed said the ninth parliamentary election has set “high
standards for future elections and signalled the beginning of a new process
of democracy and good governance in Bangladesh”.

He said his caretaker government has carried out institutional reforms to
lay the foundation of democracy.

Ahmed noted that since the assumption of office, his government has worked
hard for holding a free, fair and credible election to transfer power
peacefully to an elected government. The government was “on right track” and
completed its task, he was quoted as saying by United News of Bangladesh
(UNB) news agency.