DHAKA, Feb. 20, Reuter: Bangladeshi opposition leaders renewed a pledge to on Saturday to topple President Hossain Mohammad Ershad Amid signs of division within their antigovernment alliance.

“The fall of the present government is inevitable. No one can Stick to power for long by using force and repression”, Begum Khaleda Zia, leader of the Bangladesh National Party (BNP), said in a statement.

The other main opposition figure and Hasina’s erstwhile rival, Awami League leader Sheikh Hasina, said in a separate statement, “I am confident that the days of Ershad are number”.

Both women urged Bangladeshis to continue antigovernment action until Ershad resigns and transfers power to a caretaker government to hold free and fair elections.

Ershad, who seized power in a bloodless coup in March 1982, said he will not step down under pressure.

Meanwhile, another senior Awami League figure, Amir Hossain Amu, said there would be no real unity with the BNP until the two Organizations agreed on some basic issues and policies.

AMU told an Awami meeting on Friday night “unless there is uniformity of views and understanding (between Hasina and Khaleda) on political structure, basic… principles and issues, there cannot be any meaningful unity”.

“(To be on) one platform today to oust Ershad, and on a different platform with different slogans after his fall, would only split the forces of the movement and leave the poor common man to an uncertain future,” Amu added.

Article extracted from this publication >> February 26, 1988