In Bangladesh, the Army Act has been amended to allow Major General Ziaur Rahman to stand as President next month, while remaining the Defence Forces Chief.
In Bangladesh, the Army Act has been amended to allow Major General Ziaur Rahman to stand as President next month, while remaining the Defence Forces Chief. Previously, military legislation barred a President or Chief Martial Law Administrator from contesting elections while in active service. but in a proclamation issued in Dacca last Wednesday (3 May), General Zia announced the amendment of the act and ruled that, as Chief Martial Law Administrator, he should be automatically Commander-in-Chief of the defence services.
SYNOPSIS: The Presidential elections will be held on June the 3rd with up to 10 candidates standing against President Zia. His main rival is General Mohammed Ataul Ghani Osmay, the former Bangladesh Army Chief. General Osmay's sponsors-seen here handing in his nomination papers-are from al alliance headed by the Awami League, Bangladesh's main opposition political party. The Awami League had asked General Zia to abandon the presidential election and to hold a general election instead.
General Zia has said, however, that next month's elections will be a major step towards a return to democracy and has promised general elections in December. He denies that he has committed the army to politica, as opponents claim, and is supported in the forthcoming elections by a six-party political front.