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Mixed views on party system

Move to scrap interim administrations widens political divisions

Mixed views on party system
Bangladesh's parliament reporter, Dhaka

June 1, 2011

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Catholics have mixed views over a decision yesterday to scrap the country’s controversial caretaker government system which is causing heated debate between the two major political parties. The caretaker system is when an administration is selected for an interim period during the transition from one government to another following the expiry of the former’s term of office. A special parliamentary committee led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Awami League yesterday agreed with an earlier Supreme Court ruling to scrap the system. However, the main Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) is against the move, calling it a “master-plan” for vote rigging and for Hasina to hang onto power. “The caretaker system is not logical. We need to legally accept the verdict of the court,” said coadjutor Holy Cross Archbishop Patrick D’Rozario of Dhaka. “The opposition needs to go to parliament to solve the issue through dialogue, for the good of the people. Otherwise, I’m afraid the country will move towards instability and anarchy,” the archbishop added. Deepak Peris, 44, a Catholic leader and secretary of one of the Bangladesh’s credit unions agreed. “We should respect the court verdict and the opposition needs to express their concerns in parliament,” he said. However, lawyer John Gomes, disagreed. “The court verdict was biased because the government controls the judiciary. The government has placed their own people in all levels of government,” he said. Hasina says she aims to strengthen and make the election commission independent, introduce an electronic voting system and transparent ballot boxes to make elections fair. She also appealed yesterday for the BNP to express their opinions regarding the issue in parliament. Related report Catholic Church Head Greets New Prime Minister After Return To Democracy BA14365
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