Five new advisors take oath

Five new advisers to the caretaker government were sworn in yesterday evening at Bangabhaban to replace the advisers who resigned in the last few days.

The new advisers are AMM Shawkat Ali, former agriculture secretary, AF Hassan Ariff, former attorney general, Hossain Zillur Rahman, executive chairman of Power and Participation Research Centre, Major General (retd) Ghulam Quader, former director general of National Security Intelligence, and Rasheda K Choudhury, chief executive officer of Campaign for Popular Education.

Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed is likely to distribute today the portfolios of over 16 ministries among the newly appointed advisers, sources in the cabinet division said.

Four advisers to Bangladesh’s government resigned

Four advisers to Bangladesh’s interim government resigned Tuesday, local television reports said.Mainul Hosein, Geetiyara Safia Chowdhury, Tapan Chowdhury and Matiur Rahman, who have been in charge of various ministries since the interim government took over in January last year, sent their resignation letters to President Iajuddin Ahmed.

Mainul and Tapan told reporters that they tendered their resignation from the Council of Advisors, as the government desired.

Earlier on December 26, Education Adviser Ayub Quadri resigned in the wake of Paris-bound artefact scandal.

The resignations came on the eve of Fakhruddin Ahmed’s caretaker government’s completion of one year in office on January 12.

Official confirmation of the resignations was not immediately available.

Chief Adviser’s Press Secretary Syed Fahim Munaim told reporters that the four had resigned on personal grounds. He said the Chief Adviser’s Office sent the resignation letters to the president’s office yesterday.

Their replacements are to be sworn in today at the Bangabhaban, the chief adviser’s press secretary said.

Meanwhile, policymakers of the caretaker government were searching for persons to fill in for the five in the remaining months of the interim regime supposed to hand over power to an elected government by December this year.

After the caretaker government system was introduced in 1996, this is the second instance of a group of advisers leaving their office before completion of job.

Sources close to the caretaker government’s policymakers said Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed might address the nation on January 12. In his speech, he would seek to assure people that his government is committed to mitigate their sufferings and resignations of the advisers would only help him avoid his words being perceived as empty rhetoric, added the sources.

Political analysts and politicians however observed that it would be difficult for the interim regime to improve the overall situation by only brining changes in the council of advisers.