Former military ruler HM Ershad yesterday quitted as the Jatiya Party (JP) chairman, tasking presidium member Anisul Islam Mahmud with deputizing for him till the council elects a new chief.
A former military chief, Ershad assumed power in a bloodless coup in March 1982 and ran the country nine years before he was forced to step down on December 6, 1990.
While announcing his decision at a press briefing in Bangladesh's capital Dhaka yesterday, the former dictator also declared that he would not contest for the apex post, which he occupied since he launched the party in 1986, in the next council.
The announcement came hot in the heels of his wife Rawshan Ershad's Tuesday's declaration that she had taken control of the party.
"Lately, the political trends have changed and my initiative is the acknowledgement of the new current of thoughts," he observed.
Ershad said he has taken the decision because his leadership has been called into question and some people think his being there might get in the way of reforms.
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