‘National unity government’ sought in Bangladesh

June 3rd, 2008 - 4:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, June 3 (IANS) Bangladesh’s veteran jurist and former minister Kamal Hossain has proposed “removal of black money, violence, militancy and partisan state mechanisms” to ensure that the next elections are “free, fair and credible”. His programme fits in with the government’s anti-corruption drive under which several former ministers, lawmakers and officials have been nabbed.

The Gono Forum, a small party he leads, also demanded a “national unity government” after the elections and a review of the constitution.

“We should make a pledge to make a post-election national unity government to ensure good governance and make democracy effective,” Hossain said at a joint press briefing with five advisers (ministers) at the Chief Adviser’s Office.

“Democracy cannot stop at elections and all political parties, headed by the winner of the elections, will have to make a pledge to unify around a national consensus on key issues,” he said.

Hossain cited South African legend Nelson Mandela’s post-apartheid olive branch to his former white oppressors when he offered a number of apartheid-era leaders positions in his cabinet.

The Gono Forum was earlier part of an alliance led by former prime minister Sheikh Hasina till general elections were called off in January last year amidst political turmoil.

The government is in the midst of a political dialogue preparatory to the elections that it has promised for this December.

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