DHAKA, JUNE 1, REUTER — Bangladeshi opposition groups have failed to resolve differences and appear determined to pursue separate, probably ineffective, campaigns against _ President Hossain Mohammad Ershad, op: position sources said on Wednesday.
The rift between the two main opposition alliances, apparent for months, was emphasized on Wednesday when an eight-party alliance led by Awami league leader Sheikh Hasina announced a new five-day anti-government campaign beginning on Sunday.
The other main alliance, grouped around the Bangladesh nationals party (BNP) led by Begum Khaleda Zia, said it would announce its own plans later.
The announcements confirmed that the unified campaign against Ershad by 21 opposition political parties that began last November had crumbled mainly because of personal differences between Hasina and Khaleda.
Political observers said the separate attempts probably would lack the strength to topple Ershad, a 58-year-old former general who seized power in a 1982 coup.
Hasina’s alliance called for protest demonstrations across the country ending with a major rally in Dhaka on June 9
“Our main aim is to change the government, resist bids to make Islam the state religion of Bangladesh and press for new elections for restoration of flawless democracy,” an alliance statement said.
A seven-party cooping headed by Khaleda said it would announce its future plans later this week.
“We are going to announce a fresh program in the first week of June and make sure there is No one to stab us on the back, BNP Secretary-General K.M. Obaidur Rahman said in a Statement.
He was referring to Hasina who had earlier accused Khaleda’s group of ‘Conspiracy to thwart the united movement” and demanded the Awami league lead future joint actions.
The BNP called the demands divisive and would simply help to strengthen the present “authorization” rule.
Article extracted from this publication >> June 10, 1988