The proposed head of Bangladesh's caretaker government refused the job of steering the country through national polls amid deadly protests against his appointment that left at least 14 people dead.
The decision by former Supreme Court justice K.M. Hasan followed two days of street violence between police, supporters of the outgoing government and opposition parties that oppose his appointment.
He issued a statement "It is best I should stand aside rather than be a hurdle to the political process. I call on the parties concerned to put aside their political differences and cooperate to enable a peaceful election process," he added.
After the refusal of Justice Hasan to take over, President Iajuddin Ahmed invited secretaries of the BNP and AL, Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan and Abdul Jalil, to the Bangabhaban on Saturday for talks. When they emerged from the meeting, both the leaders told reporters that they had reached a consensus and the president would appoint a chief adviser on Sunday.
Talking separately to reporters, both Bhuiyan and Jalil said certain proposals were discussed with the president regarding appointment of the chief advisor.
The two leaders of the rival camps assured the president that they would inform him of their opinions after consultation with their party chiefs — Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina.