Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has ruled out a return to the repealed caretaker government system as the constitution was amended in line with a higher court verdict.
"People have the sole right to vote. Whoever is elected by the people will form the government. There is no way to go back to it (caretaker government system)," she said in an interview with the Bangla service of Voice of America (VoA) aired on Saturday.
The prime minister, now on a visit to the US, responded to a number of questions on US Visa sanction, human rights, Khaleda's treatment abroad, caretaker government, the constitution and other issues.
When asked about the possibility of taking initiative for amending the constitution and forming a caretaker government or discussion with the opposition alliance, she said, "Election is people's right. When an emergency was declared in 2007, the High Court delivered a verdict that an unelected government would never come to power. Power will be handed over to an elected government.... according to the verdict of the High Court. The constitution was amended after the verdict."
"Now, how can we annul the verdict of the High Court? Or amend the constitution? And why will we do that? We had a lot of bitter experiences. In the history of our country, we've seen martial law, military dictatorship, and farcical election under them, or under caretaker government."
Mentioning that the BNP was once against the caretaker government Hasina said, "When we protested against the BNP's vote rigging then BNP leader (Khaleda Zia) said that no one is neutral other than children and the insane. They said this, they were against this."
"The constitution was amended based on the verdict of the High Court. They used to protest against it, and now that they are demanding the same thing, there is no guarantee of what they will do in the future," she said.
Moreover, the caretaker government system was abolished because of BNP, said Hasina adding that they wanted to form a government of their choice, raising the judge's age for that, making fake voter lists, and committing a lot of terrible crimes. But none of it worked because people did not accept it.
About the 2008 election, the PM said, "The country witnessed elections under a caretaker government in 2008. They committed a lot of dreadful crimes during their tenure from 2001-2006, and an emergency situation was declared and the caretaker government took over power. They did not hold any elections for two years and filed false cases against us," she said.
In the 2008 election, the BNP-led 20-party alliance got only 29 seats in parliament and got another one in the re-election, said the prime minister." So, this is their reality even under a caretaker government. That is why they boycotted the 2014 election and resorted to arson...they burnt over 3000 people to death. They carried out mayhem and arson attacks in 500 vote centres and schools. They boycotted the election."
"Now that they are suddenly demanding a caretaker government, why? And the question is who is their leader? Who (the people) will vote for? People want to see leadership.... They have no good leader to lead the country," she continued.
"Bangladesh is in a stable condition now after the 2008 national election several efforts were made to make the country unstable. Bangladesh has overcome those and now has achieved the status of a developing country. We need an elected government to make this effective," she added.
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