Bangladesh Abolishes Caretaker Government for Elections

Posted June 30th, 2011 at 7:15 am (UTC-5)
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Bangladesh's parliament has repealed a constitutional provision for a caretaker government to take over power for three months while the country holds elections.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 main opposition boycotted the vote.

Earlier this month, the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party and its Islamic ally, Jamaat-e-Islami called for protests against the change, which was proposed by the ruling Awami League party. Opposition members said the Awami League is trying to cling to power.

The protesters staged two days of nationwide strikes against the proposed change, and police said more than 100 demonstrators were arrested 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.