Law must decide on war criminals in polls
Friday, 26 September 2008

Chief adviser Fakhruddin AhmedCA tells Bangladeshi expats in New York

Agencies

Chief adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed told a New York audience Wednesday that the law would decide on the contentious issue of war criminals standing for election in Bangladesh.

Addressing a gathering of expatriate Bangladeshis, the chief adviser admitted that he had at one time asserted that war criminals would be barred from participating in polls.
 
"It must be considered. But it will be decided through legal procedures," he said.
 
He also assured them there was no doubt about national elections being held on the announced date.
 
"The election will be held on Dec 18, there is no doubt about that."
 
The caretaker government will complete its job by handing over power to an elected government, the chief adviser said.
 
Replying to a question from the audience, he said: "Bail does not mean unconditional release. Those accused of corruption have secured bail through legal procedures that proves the judiciary is working independently."
 
Fakhruddin underscored the necessity of institutional reforms to establish democracy and good governance, mentioning a number of reforms by his administration of the judiciary, Election Commission and Anticorruption Commission.
 
"Reform is an ongoing process and what is required now is internal vigilance," he said.
 
Fakhruddin stressed that his administration was not swayed by any foreign diplomacy. "We will decide ourselves about the country. We believe that we should have only friendly relationship with the foreign countries."
 
Replying to another query, he said: "The caretaker government is constitutional. But we should think what is required in the future."
 
"I believe the caretaker government is not a permanent solution. An elected government should govern the country."
 
The chief adviser flew to New York on Sept 21 to attend the 63rd United Nations General Assembly. He will address Assembly on Sept 26 and depart the US on Sept 29.
 
Among others, foreign adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury and cultural affairs adviser Rasheda K Choudhury also spoke.

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