Dhaka, Bangladesh
PM gives preview of interim govt

PM gives preview of interim govt

JP offered berth in cabinet

News Desk Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina now gave the outline of an interim government for the election time that will consist of members of the parties having representation in the current parliament. In pursuant to this official position, she has already talked to the opposition party in parliament-the Jatiya Party-and also invited them to join that interim cabinet that will do routine work during the election period. "There's nothing called election-time government," the prime minister told reporters Friday in New York. It comes as a veiled reference to the demand of the opposition in the street. The main opposition party, BNP, which, along with some other parties, had boycotted the last polls, has defined 'election-time government' as a surrogate for the abolished system of caretaker government that used to conduct elections since its introduction following the restoration of democracy through the 1990 people-power movement. In the changed context, they are demanding the upcoming general election to be held under such a neutral election-time government. There are alternative proposals also from different quarters for the formation of an all-party government through certain arrangements without needing amendment of the existing constitutional provisions. At long last, the BNP may spell out the format of election-time government from today's grand rally in the city. A UNB report from New York says the prime minister, in reply to a question over the formation of the interim government, said: "I talked to the Opposition Leader (Raushon Ershad). If they want, they can join us." She further said, "If all political parties having representation in parliament want, we may form a government during the election with their representatives -- no matter whether it is the ruling party or opposition, but there is no definition of election-time government here." The prime minister asked the journalists to find out who are behind the publication of former Chief Justice SK Sinha's recently written autobiography. "I know about it, but I won't tell you ... (rather) I want to know about it from you and I want that you will expose who are behind the publication of the book." Justice Sinha, now in the USA, has recently written and published his autobiography mentioning various reasons behind his resignation as Chief Justice. Lalitmohan-Dhanabati Memorial Foundation holds the copyright of Justice Sinha's book titled 'A Broken Dream: Rule of Law, Human Rights and Democracy." "Please unveil who're providing money for launching the book and whether any journalists like you or any newspapers are involved in it and how much help they are providing," Hasina said. She said, "You'll have to find out whether any noted lawyer is correcting the script or any newspaper or its owners is patronising." Responding to a question about the purchase of a house in the USA against the name of Sinha's brother, the Prime Minister said it is not difficult to buy a house in the USA. "But it's difficult in Bangladesh as house price is huge ... in the United States, anybody can become a house owner if he or she deposits money." She further said, "I've no information who and how purchased a house. You find out and provide information, then action would be taken if anybody is found guilty to this end." In reply to another question about the Digital Security Act 2018, the Prime Minister said cybercrime is now a big concern across the world as all the countries are affected due to it. "We've enacted the law against cybercrime not against journalists," she said adding that cybercrime has emerged as a global problem after terrorism and militancy. Criticizing journalists, Hasina said, "You're only seeing one side of the law that it'll gag the voice of journalists, but there's nothing to do that." Mentioning that cyber security was also discussed in a segment of the United Nations General Assembly, she said all are worried about cyber security as various social offences and terror and militant acts are provoked through cyber means. "If a journalist practises fair journalism why he or she will get scared?" the Prime Minister questioned. The Press Conference was arranged at Bangladesh Permanent Mission to the United Nation over her participation in the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly in New York. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Friday also said they want to use electronic voting machine (EVM) in elections. Sheikh Hasina said this when US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met her at her hotel suite here. "During the meeting, we discussed our election system. We've already approved the EVM project (at ECNEC meeting) and we want the EVMs to be used," she told a press conference here. At the beginning of the press conference, the Prime Minister said there were fruitful discussions at the meeting. Rohingya issue, bilateral relations between Bangladesh and the USA, and the cooperation on counter-terrorism came up for discussions, Hasina added. The prime minister said the United States wants a democratic system in Bangladesh to continue and the elections be held here in a fair manner. --

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