Chief adviser from ex-chief justices | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 09, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, August 09, 2012

Interim Govt For Polls

Chief adviser from ex-chief justices

BNP to propose formula after Eid

The BNP plans to make a formal proposal to restore the non-partisan caretaker government system with a change in the provision of appointment of the chief adviser.
Keeping in mind the political chaos over the appointment of the chief adviser in 2006, the party may propose a system that will have the chief adviser chosen from among former chief justices instead of having the immediate past chief justice take over, said party insiders.
A group of senior lawyers and academics are now busy finalising the proposal, which might be unveiled by the party chairperson after Eid-ul-Fitr.
The party took the initiative to prepare the proposal after rejecting the prime minister's recent suggestion about a small cabinet with BNP participation to oversee the next election.
Party policymakers recently discussed the legal provisions of the caretaker government system (13th and 15th amendments of the constitution) with BNP Chief Khaleda Zia in the chair.
They decided to make their proposal on the basis of the 13th amendment, which the parliament scrapped last year.
The 13th Amendment Act, 1996, provided for a non-party caretaker government which, like an interim government, would give all possible aid and assistance to the Election Commission for holding general elections to the Jatiya Sangsad peacefully, fairly and impartially.
But the caretaker government system was abolished by the fifteenth amendment, which was passed in parliament on June 30 last year.
The BNP, however, declared that it would not participate in any election if a non-party neutral government system was not restored.
Following the year-long debate and controversy over an election-time government, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina recently proposed a small cabinet that would include members from the opposition to oversee the next parliament election. Predictably, the proposal was rejected by her archrival Khaleda Zia.
Against this backdrop, the BNP national standing committee, the highest policymaking forum of the party, recently held an academic discussion on the caretaker government system.
A Dhaka university law professor briefed them in detail about the 13th and 15th amendments, existing provisions and the prime minister's proposal.
After the briefing, party policymakers held a brief discussion and dismissed the premier's proposal for a small cabinet.
They preferred a restoration of the 13th amendment but decided to hold further discussions on the issue before finalising the proposal. However, they agreed to change the provision relating to the appointment of the chief adviser of the caretaker government.
"We may keep the provision for selecting the chief adviser from among all former chief justices instead of the immediate past chief justice so that the political parties can pick one of them through discussion,” said a member of the party standing committee.
Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, a senior member of the standing committee, told The Daily Star the caretaker government system must be restored. Otherwise "no election will be allowed to be held under any party government".
“We can sit for a dialogue on the selection of the head of the caretaker government if the ruling party agrees in principle to restore the caretaker system,” he said in reply to a query.

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