Hold Ershad’s trial, alliance partners tell Hasina

September 8th, 2010 - 2:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Sheikh Hasina Dhaka, Sep 8 (IANS) Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who heads a 14-party alliance, is under pressure from some of her allies to allow the trial of former president H.M. Ershad for `usurping’ power in 1982.

Hasina had reportedly told Ershad, who is also a member of the ruling alliance, “not to worry” when he met her last month after a court annulled the constitution’s seventh amendment that had validated his declaration of martial law and takeover of power.

Ershad, then the army chief, removed then president A.M. Sattar and declared himself chief martial law administrator in 1982. He went on to rule the country till December 1990.

Most of the partners in the ruling alliance are in favour of punishment to the “usurpers of state power, including former military ruler H.M. Ershad”, New Age reported Wednesday.

The Ershad issue has turned into a contentious issue in the alliance.

Alliance leaders say that Hasina had included Ershad’s party without consulting them.

Rashed Khan Menon, president of the Workers Party of Bangladesh and a partner in the ruling alliance, said they were “always against illegal takeover of power and military rule”.

Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal president Hasanul Haq Inu said Ershad must face trial because he seized power illegally, violating the constitution.

“We hope the present government will take necessary steps to hold trial of Ershad,” Inu said.

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