Bangladesh Abolishes Caretaker Government for Elections

Posted June 30th, 2011 at 10:45 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Bangladesh's parliament has repealed a constitutional provision for a caretaker government to take over power for three months while the country holds elections.

The system had been in place since the mid-1990s to try to prevent election fraud, but lawmakers voted overwhelmingly Thursday to abolish it. The opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party boycotted the vote.

Politicians opposing the repeal said it would harm democracy. Opposition members also accused the ruling Awami League party — which proposed the change — of trying to cling to power.

Earlier this month, the BNP and its Islamic ally, Jamaat-e-Islami, staged two days of nationwide strikes against the proposed change. Police said they arrested more than 100 demonstrators for damaging vehicles and other violence.

The caretaker system came under criticism in 2007, when a military-backed caretaker government held onto power beyond its 90-day mandate and delayed voting by two years.