Bangladesh's army chief says the country should not go back to being run by an "elective democracy" and said that the military-backed interim government would build a new brand of democracy to overcome the country's chronic poor governance.
Army chief Lieutenant General Moeen Uddin Ahmed launched a scathing attack against the country's corrupt politicians on April 2, 2007, saying they had to be rooted out in the graft-ridden country if the nation was to move forward.
He explained that “Bangladesh must build its own brand of democracy”, recognising its social, historical and cultural conditions with religion being one of the components of its national identity.
Bangladesh, now being ruled by an interim government headed by Dr. Fakhruddin Ahmed and strongly backed by the military, has been under a state of emergency since January 11.
The new caretaker government, headed by former central bank governor Fakhruddin Ahmed, has pledged to clean up Bangladesh's notoriously corrupt politics in order to hold credible elections.
As part of a massive graft crackdown, scores of high-profile politicians, security forces have detained more than 160 key political figures, including Tareque Rahman, son of former prime minister Begum Khaleda Zia, for extortion and misuse of power.
Some observers see General Moeen is speaking his mind to emotional charged Bangladesh citizens at home and abroad. He is described as a military hawk aspiring to capture state power with a ploy of good governance and implement their military-democracy agenda.
He reasoned out that a redesigned democracy was necessary as he said the previous political system bred massive corruption in society.In his address to a conference in the presence of President Prof. Iajuddin Ahmed at Dhaka Sheraton Hotel, the army chief said the ancient Athenian democracy was not even "remotely achievable today".
"Had poor governance not been a conspicuous phenomenon in our democratic politics, the per capita income would not have stagnated to its current level of $482 but reached a more respectable $920 with every possibility of breaking the $1,000 barrier in the coming years," Moeen said.
Moeen took few questions from the media and political activists after the inaugural session of the conference. He said the Armed Forces were the "silent" partner of people.When asked whether he has ambition to float a political party, he said it is the people who would have to decide whether they need a new political platform to achieve the agenda he has spell out.
He defined the "own brand of democracy" as a "balanced government, power not tilted towards any family or dynasty". #
With reports from bdnews24.com, Reuters, AFP and BBC online