President violated constitution, says Dhaka opposition

January 26th, 2009 - 2:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, Jan 26 (IANS) Bangladesh President Iajuddin Ahmed is under attack from opposition parliamentarians for “violating the constitution” of the country. Ironically, these MPs are from the party that had elected him in the first place.Sporting black badges and led by leader of opposition Begum Khaleda Zia, two-term former prime minister, the opposition members Sunday walked out before Ahmed opened the ninth Jatiya Sangsad (parliament). Ahmed is about to complete his tenure next month.

A senior lawmaker of Zia’s Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), Salahuddin Qader Choudhury, interrupted proceedings to announce that the opposition would not hear the presidential address.

The plea by new Speaker Abdul Hamid that “after all, he is your president. You should hear him speak”, was not heeded by the opposition.

Talking to reporters at the entrance to Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban (parliament complex), Chowdhury said: “We have walked out before the president’s speech because he breached the oath to defend the constitution.

“He failed to hold national polls within the constitution-stipulated three months after dissolution of parliament. Thanks to his role, the caretaker government lasted two long years, denying people the rights to vote and have a constitutional government.”

A US-trained veterinarian, Ahmed was picked by Zia after she developed differences with President A.Q.M. Badrudozzah Chowhdury, also her nominee, in 2003.

Salahuddin Qader Chowdhury also accused the outgoing president of trying to implement the “minus-two formula” during the two-year rule of the caretaker government.

This refers to the failed attempts by the caretaker government to send away both Hasina and Zia as part of a plan to enforce “political reforms”.

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