Ershad opts for Malaysia

Authorities offered him two destinations—Singapore and Kuala Lumpur where he would be staying during the polls

Jatiya Party chairman HM Ershad has agreed to the government proposal to go abroad apparently to pave the way for a section of his party to go to the polls, party sources have confirmed.

Ershad opted for Malaysia after authorities offered him two destinations—Singapore and Kuala Lumpur where he would be staying during the polls.

“Our chairman has chosen Malaysia instead of Singapore. They (the government) have taken away his passport and those of three of his entourageMajor Khaled, son Eric and a maid servant,” an influential presidium member and minister told the Dhaka Tribune last night.

Yesterday morning the minister talked to the party chairman who informed him of the government move to send the former president abroad.

He, however, could not say when Ershad would be flied out of Dhaka.

“It depends upon the completion of the visa formalities for the other three people,” said another presidium member, also an MP from the northern region. Ershad enjoys a diplomatic passport.

On Saturday, the prime minister’s International Affairs Adviser Dr Gowher Rizvi saw Ershad at the Combined Military Hospital where he had been staying for “treatment.”

His Special Adviser and research wing head Bobby Hajjaj, who left Dhaka for UK for reasons unknown, alleged that Ershad was “fine” and he had been “detained.”

The deposed president, criticised for his frequent changes in political stances, first announced taking part in the January 5 polls to “save democracy and the country.”

He sent his party nominations for the “all-party” cabinet headed by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

The main opposition BNP rejected the “all-party” cabinet that was formed to supervise the next general elections.

It demanded restoration of the non-party caretaker government to hold the 10th national polls.

The opposition has boycotted the polls.

The Jatiya Party candidates filed nomination papers.

Later however, Ershad suddenly announced pulling out of the polls saying the polls would not be acceptable to people, as the opposition parties were not taking part in it. He instructed his party candidates to withdraw nomination papers.

But many of the party candidates, led by his wife and presidium member Raushan Ershad, did not withdraw their candidatures to “save” the party and Ershad, who has been facing 12 corruption and criminal cases.

At least 18 Jatiya Party candidates have already been elected unopposed as the Awami League candidates withdrew from the race

Source: Dhaka Tribune


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