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Last Updated: Monday, 2 April 2007, 12:18 GMT 13:18 UK
B'desh democracy fails, army says
Troops on patrol in Dhaka
The army has says that it has no plans to run Bangladesh
Bangladesh's army chief says the country should not go back to being run by an "elective democracy".

He said democracy in Bangladesh had so far led to corruption, rights violations and criminalisation threatening the state's survival.

Dozens of political figures and their associates have been arrested on corruption charges since a state of emergency was declared in January.

The country is currently being run by an army-backed interim government.

'Persistent factor'

"We do not want to go back to an elective democracy where corruption becomes all pervasive, governance suffers in terms of insecurity and violation of rights, and where political criminalisation threatens the very survival and integrity of the state," Lt Gen Moeen U Ahmed told a conference in the capital Dhaka.

He did not elaborate on what kind of a system should be introduced as replacement.

He also blamed the corruption generated by continuous political turmoil as the reason behind Bangladesh's stunted economic growth.

"My contention is that had corruption not been a persistent factor, the full economic potential of Bangladesh could have been realised at a much faster rate."

Abuse of power

National elections had been scheduled to be held in Bangladesh on 22 January.

Tarique Rahman outside the court
Politicians and their families are accused of abuse of power

But these were postponed after weeks of political violence between the parties of former Prime Ministers Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina.

Mrs Zia's tenure ended in October 2006 and the country has been in turmoil since.

Since the postponement of the elections, over 100 high profile political figures have been arrested for corruption and abuse of power.

They includes Tarique Rehman, Mrs. Zia's son, who was widely seen as her 'heir apparent' in the party.

The campaign is being managed by the interim government which is headed by an former central bank chief, Fakhurddin Ahmed, and has the full support of the military.

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