Spotlight on former caretaker advisors

Spotlight on former caretaker advisors


BNP chief Khaleda Zia’s offer of interim poll-time government has turned the spotlight on the advisors to the caretaker governments of 1996 and 2001.

The opposition chief responded on Monday to the Prime Minister’s proposal of an all-party government to oversee the next general election.

Khaleda has recommended that 10 of those advisors to the caretaker governments of 1996 and 2001 be made members of an 11-strong Cabinet, to be named equally by both the Awami League and the BNP.

The BNP Chairperson has said the head of her proposed interim government would be the Chief Advisor, someone ‘neutral’ and unanimously ‘acceptable’.

The idea of a caretaker government oversight for general election was first conceived by the Awami League in 1996. The then ruling BNP was eventually forced to introduce the caretaker system through the 13 Amendment to the Constitution.

Former Chief Justice Habibur Rahman was the first Chief Advisor of the first Caretaker government. His advisors were constitutional expert Barrister Syed Ishtiaq Ahmed, Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus, educationist Prof Shamsul Hoque, former central bank Governor Shegufta Bakht Chowdhury, former civil servant AZM Nasiruddin, military doctor Maj Gen (Retd) Abdur Rahman Khan, economist Wahiduddin Mahmud, businessman Syed Manjur Elahi, academics Prof Nazma Chowdhury and Prof Jamilur Reza Chowdhury.

Justice Habibur’s government oversaw the seventh parliamentary election, which the Awami League won.

Khaleda had alleged after the election that the polls had been rigged.

Former Chief Justice Latifur Rahman headed the caretaker government that conducted the 2001 election. His advisors were Barrister Syed Ishtiaq Ahmed, Justice Bimolendu Bikash Chowdhury, former Inspector General of Police SM Shahajahan, businessman Syed Manjur Elahi, former civil servant Abdul Muyeed Chowdhury, AKM Amanul Islam Chowdhury, former Comptroller and Auditor General M Hafizuddin Khan, former military doctor Brig Gen (Retd) Abdul Malek, army cardiologist Maj Gen (Retd) Moinul Hossain Chowdhury and businesswoman Rokia Afzal Rahman.

Justice Latifur’s government staged the eighth national election, which was swept by the BNP-led Four-Party Alliance.

This time, it was the AL’s turn to allege vote rigging.-



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