Rejecting Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s proposal for an all-party poll-time government, opposition leader Khaleda Zia on Monday proposed a new formula.

Giving her formal reaction, Ms. Khaleda rejected Ms. Hasina as head of the proposed government and suggested picking a “most acceptable person”. She, however, did not provide any name.

National elections

Ms. Zia proposed choosing 10 from the 20 advisers to former caretaker governments which had conducted national elections in 1996 and 2001. Defending her proposal, Ms. Khaleda also said the two former caretaker governments were “highly acclaimed” which saw the Awami League and the BNP brought to power respectively.

However, there was no reaction from the ruling Awami League to the new proposal. The counter-proposal, many analysts say, is likely to deepen the political crisis concerning the elections. Constitutional experts also believe that Ms. Khaleda’s formula, if accepted, would require a constitutional amendment, which is unlikely.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in an address to the nation last Friday, had proposed the formation of an all-party interim government and asked the opposition to name their representatives. Jatiya Party Chairman Hussain Muhammad Ershad, a key ally of the ruling alliance, meanwhile, refuted the claim by the Awami League that his party would remain in the grand alliance during the next election.

At a press conference on Monday after meeting Ms. Hasina a day before, Mr. Ershad termed the statement of the Awami Lerague general secretary Syed Ashraful Islam as “false” and said the Jatiya Party would not go to the next elections to help any party to “assume power”.

Opposition line

Apparently taking the opposition line, the former military dictator said, elections without the participation of all political parties will not be acceptable.