Hasina rejects demand to restore caretaker system

Dhaka: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today made it clear that general election would take place in 2014 amid threats to boycott it by main opposition BNP which has demanded the restoration of the non-party caretaker system to supervise the the polls.

Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) led by former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia has threatened to boycott the polls if the caretaker government system is not restored.

The premier said the election will be held without any caretaker government. She said the election must be held and the main oppostion party must take part in it if it wants to remain involved in politics.

"Elections will definitely be held. The people will certainly go to vote,"she said.

Hasina, the president of the ruling Awami League, underlined that the 15-year-old caretaker government system was nullified in line with an apex court ruling and bitter experience in the past.

The prime minister invited the BNP for discussion in parliament over the issue.

"Come to parliament, discussions will take place. You will be allowed to speak,"Hasina was quoted as saying by Star online, the newspaper of The Daily Star.

The Supreme Court ruled against the provision of caretaker government. The Awami League dominated parliament through the 15th constitutional amendment abolished it by scrapping the 13th amendment that had created it.

The Prime Minister was ready to reconstitute the Election Commission (EC) following discussions with the main opposition party in a bid to ensure transparent election process.

"We agree with the oppositions demand for reconstitution of the Election Commission through discussions. That will certainly happen, she told mediapersons in the capital.

Khaleda on September 27 warned the government that her party and allies will not allow the holding of the election without the reinstatment of the caretaker government system.

Hasina won a landslide majority in the landmark December 29, 2008 general election held under the supervision of a caretaker government after nearly two years of a state of emergency.