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POST TIME: 1 February, 2018 00:00 00 AM
Smaller cabinet during polls
Says PM as she rules out possibility of poll-time supportive govt
STAFF REPORTER

Smaller cabinet during polls

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday made it clear that the size of the cabinet will get smaller during the next general election as she reiterated her government's stance that there will be no unconstitutional government in the form of a poll-time supportive one, report

agencies.

"Bangladesh's constitution is the highest law ... there is no provision for constitution of a supportive government in the Constitution," she said in parliament responding to a starred question from treasury bench member Tanveer Imam (Sirajganj-4) at parliament.

"According to Article 126 of the Constitution, the Election Commission will perform its duty and the size of the cabinet will get smaller. The government will only carry out routine works and not take any policy decision during the election," she said.

Sheikh Hasina said she earlier spoke about the election-time government in her address to the nation.

Noting that the constitution is the supreme law of the country, she said, "There's no provision in the constitution to form any government like 'election-supportive government'."

Hasina said BNP had never been in favour of the continuation of democratic process. "So, the party is now demanding for 'supportive government' unconstitutionally, which is in no way acceptable. Our government will always uphold the democracy.

The prime minister further said, "We won't accept any anti-constitutional government system."

She said BNP was founded in an illegal way through the declaration of martial law violating the Constitution. "So, it's the habit of the party to place illegal demands."

Sheikh Hasina said during the rule of General Ziaur Rahman, BNP staged voterless referendum. After forming government in 1991, she said, BNP made unprecedented rigging in the Magura and Dhaka by-polls and formed an illegal government through the voterless 15 February election in 1996.

"At that time, BNP fully destroyed the electoral system and democratic trend," she added.

The prime minister said the emergency was imposed and a caretaker government was in power for two years as BNP tried to make their like-minded person the caretaker government chief in 2006 with an intention to hold a farcical election.

In reply to a supplementary question from Jatiya Party MP Fakhrul Imam (Mymensingh-8), Hasina said her government has no plan right now to raise the retirement age limit of public servants.

She said the Awami League government extended the retirement age limit from 57 years to 59 years for the public servants after assuming office.

If the retirement age limit is extended further, the promotion scopes for subordinates and employment scope for jobseekers will decline, the Prime Minister told the House.