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ISSN 1563-9304 | Magh 1 1413 BS, Sunday | January 14, 2007
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Fakhruddin takes over as chief adviser

Saturday January 13 2007 09:16:14 AM BDT

Nazrul Islam

The president, Iajuddin Ahmed, reconstituted the non-party caretaker government on Friday, by appointing Dr Fakhruddin Ahmed, a former central bank governor, as the new chief of the interim administration.(New Age)

President Iajuddin, who resigned on Thursday from the post of the chief adviser and promulgated a state of emergency throughout the country, administered the oath of office to Fakhruddin Ahmed at a ceremony at Bangabhaban, the presidential residence.

Fakhruddin Ahmed, a renowned economist and former governor of the central bank, was serving as managing director of the Bangladesh Palli Karma Sahayak Foundation, a public sector micro credit institution, before being made the chief adviser to the caretaker government.

Khaleda Zia and the leaders of her Bangladesh Nationalist Party-led alliance abstained from attending Ahmed’s swearing-in ceremony.

Sheikh Hasina and the leaders of her Awami League-led alliance, attended the function.

The situation was just the opposite on October 29 last year, when Iajuddin took over as the chief adviser. Khaleda attended the swearing-in ceremony and Hasina boycotted it.

Former advisers, foreign diplomats stationed in Dhaka, senior civil and military bureaucrats, and a section of eminent citizens were present at the ceremony.

The cabinet secretary, Ali Imam Majumder, conducted the oath taking ceremony at 7:00pm.

However, the president is likely to appoint ten other advisers in a day or two, most likely in consultation with the new chief of the interim government, the tenure of which was not spelled out immediately, officials said.

But the president in his address to the nation, through which he declared a state of emergency on Thursday night suspending fundamental rights, mentioned that a number of tasks needed to be completed for holding a free, fair and credible election and that it would take time.

The Election Commission, meanwhile, formally announced postponement of the January 22 general elections. They will now go for massive reconstitution of the quasi judicial body and electoral laws as well and before holding the election, the EC sources said.

With the swearing in of the chief adviser, the authorities apparently relaxed emergency provisions, including restrictions on the print and electronic media.

Private television channels were reportedly asked by the Press Information Department on Thursday not to air news programmes, and they followed the instruction accordingly.The channels resumed news programmes on Friday.

The authorities also lifted the night-time curfew imposed for six hours everyday in Dhaka and other district towns for an indefinite period.

The police were seen announcing the lifting of curfew by loud hailers at different places in the city. The withdrawal of curfew eased tensions in the capital and other parts of the country.

The police and the elite Rapid Action Battalion launched a hunt for listed criminals, some businessmen and a section of politicians having criminal links.

In an announcement, the Awami League general secretary, Abdul Jalil, said that the AL-led alliance had called off all street protests. The alliance had earlier announced a series of agitation programmes, including transport blockades and general strikes to resist holding of the January 22 elections.

Jalil refused to comment on the ‘promulgation of emergency’, but found the president quitting the office of the chief adviser a ‘people’s victory’.

The BNP in a statement said that it believed the emergency was a temporary measure. The statement said the party hoped the interim government would do everything possible to hand over power to an elected government in the shortest possible time.

The left leaning political parties opposed emergency while major political parties refrained from making direct comments.


New Age

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