Ershad may seek Hasina’s ‘blessings’ to escape punishment

August 27th, 2010 - 12:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Sheikh Hasina Dhaka, Aug 27 (IANS) Former Bangladesh president H.M. Ershad, held responsible by a court for usurping power through a military takeover, may seek Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s ‘blessings’ to escape punishment.
A lawmaker whose Jatiya Party (JP) is a constituent of the ruling alliance, Ershad has told his brother G.M. Qader to speak to Hasina and ‘negotiate’ with the Awami League, The Daily Star newspaper said Friday.

The Dhaka High Court Thursday invalidated the seventh amendment to the constitution that had ratified Ershad’s actions.

A senior law officer representing the government had told the court that what Ershad had done was illegal and unconstitutional and he should be prosecuted and punished.

Ershad told journalists hours after the verdict: “I am respectful to the judgment.”

Ershad, who declared martial law in 1982 and later got himself elected the president in December 1983, went on to become the longest-serving head of the state, ruling till December 1990.

“You should discuss with Awami League and, if needed, we should talk to the prime minister and seek her blessings to save me and the party from any dire consequence,” a JP leader quoted Ershad as saying to his party’s senior leaders.

“Make them understand that past is past. Now Jatiya Party is a democratic force which is a partner of Awami League, and will remain so in future,” the party official quoted Ershad, now 80, as saying.

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