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Home / International News / 2007 / May 2007 / May 27, 2007
Bangladesh interim govt. looks for options for its expansion
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Bangladesh interim govt. looks for options for its expansion

Burdened immensely with tasks in addition to mandates, Bangladeshs temporary government of Fakhruddin Ahmed is considering to expand its size to ease up the workload, officials said.

By Nazrul Islam

Dhaka, May 27 : Burdened immensely with tasks in addition to mandates, Bangladesh's temporary government of Fakhruddin Ahmed is considering to expand its size to ease up the workload, officials said.

"The government is actively trying to find out the options for its expansion," Syed Fahim Munaim, an official spokesman of the chief adviser to the interim government, told newsmen.

He said the present size of the government, especially the number of advisers in comparison to the ministries and administrative divisions, were quite inadequate. Munaim, also the press chief of Fakhruddin Ahmed, told reporters after a weekly meeting of the interim cabinet yesterday.

He said the matter was not discussed in the meeting formally, but it was for sure that the matter was under government's active consideration.

The current Bangladesh caretaker government, consisted of 10 advisers for over 40 ministries and divisions, and the chief adviser, assumed to office in early January, when the country entered a state of emergency on the heels of serious political turmoil.

In usual case, according to the country's Constitution, the interim administration is supposed to stay for a shorter period, preferably three months to hold the election and hand over the power to the elected government.

But the situation is different this time round.

The first caretaker administration headed by the President Iajuddin Ahmed was formed after the Bangladesh Nationalist Party-led alliance government's tenure expired in October last year.

But Iajuddin's failure in creating an atmosphere for election pushed the country into street violence between the immediate past ruling Bangladesh Nationalist Party-led alliance of Khaleda Zia and Awami League-led alliance of Sheikh Hasina. The turmoil ran until January 11, the day the president was forced to proclaim the state of emergency.

The new military-backed Fakhruddin government sworn-in on the following day with a vow to free the country's politics from evil influences.

And, it took up a huge task of political reforms, in addition of its task actually mandated for the caretaker government, to be implemented ahead of the next general elections, promised to he held before the end of 2008.

The government recently sought opinion of the law commission if the interim cabinet could be expanded. The commission ruled out the option for appointment of more advisers to the interim government citing that the constitution permitted only 10 advisers.

At this stage, the government contemplates another option - appointment of consultants for the ministries. But it was not clear how the government would delegate executive power to the consultants.

"The necessity for expansion of the government is definite," Munaim said, adding that the government was examining the procedures for the proposed enlargement.


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