Bangladesh’s Parliament on Thursday rescinded a 15-year-old requirement that general elections be overseen by nonpartisan caretaker governments — a move the opposition says could allow incumbents to rig the votes.
The ruling coalition of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina pushed the constitutional amendment through Parliament with a vote of 291-1, well more than the two-thirds majority needed in the 345-member chamber. The opposition’s 38 members abstained. The caretaker system came under fire in 2007 after a military-backed caretaker government stayed beyond its mandated three months and delayed the voting by about two years.
Opposition lawmakers, however, argue the new rules will allow Hasina to steer the result of the next parliamentary polls due in 2014, and have vowed to protest the move by continuing a campaign of general strikes and street protests started this month.Full Article: The Associated Press: Bangladesh abolishes caretaker gov't for elections.