Amid uncertainty over the election-time administration, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has outlined the constitutional system saying the general election would be held without dissolving Parliament.
She told top bureaucrats that Parliament would serve out its full tenure, but it would not hold any session in three months before the expiry of its five-year term. She also made it clear that her Cabinet would not take any policy decisions.
The next election must be held within 90 days after the government’s term ends.
The Prime Minister, who held a meeting with the Secretaries of the government on Monday, also said the elections would be held within the last 90 days of the Parliament’s tenure, which ends on January 24.
Cabinet Secretary Musharraf Hossain Bhuyan said the Premier could delegate more powers to secretaries or appoint others to carry out the responsibilities of the ministers during the period of transition.
Ms. Hasina, also the ruling Awami League president, sought cooperation of the civil servants in continuation of democracy as well as the development programmes initiated by her government.
The announcement of the Prime Minister came in the face of the opposition demand for dissolving the Parliament as soon as its tenure finishes and restoring the non-party caretaker government system before holding the election. However, Ms. Hasina has categorically rejected the demand.
The BNP, the major opposition party, has been campaigning for a non-party election-time administration ever since the government, through the 15th Amendment to the Constitution, scrapped the provision for holding the parliamentary polls under a caretaker government. The main opposition party led by former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia has reacted sharply over the Premier’s statement and said that after the PM’s statement, the scope for a peaceful settlement of the election-time government issue has been closed.