Zia to send delegation to Hasina’s oath-taking ceremony (Lead)

January 6th, 2009 - 6:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, Jan 6 (IANS) A five-member delegation of lawmakers-elect will represent former prime minister Khaleda Zia at Sheikh Hasina’s oath-taking ceremony at the Bangabhavan Tuesday evening, a media report said. The delegation will be led by Salauddin Quader Chowdhury, a top advisor of Zia, The Star Online said quoting Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) sources.

Other members of the team are M.K. Anwar, Barkatullah Bulu, Shahiduddin Chowdhury Annie and Abul Khair Bhuiyan.

Zia, herself a two-term prime minister, would stay away.

Media reports earlier said that Zia and her allies who received a drubbing at the December 29 poll may boycott the ceremony.

Speculation was rife that Zia may boycott the oath-taking ceremony of her arch political rival in a repeat of what has become a political tradition in the country.

The ostensible reason, media reports said Tuesday, for Zia and her Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) to stay away from the evening ceremony is that their ally, Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI), has not been invited.

Those elected on the nomination of the Zia-led alliance did not take oath as MPs over the last weekend.

President Iajuddin Ahmed, who Monday formally invited Hasina to form the new government, will administer the oath of office at a ceremony in the presidential palace Tuesday evening.

Hasina’s Awami League-led Grand Alliance won a landslide victory in the parliamentary election.

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