"My proposal to the Opposition party is that we can constitute an all-party government during the election time," Hasina said in a 22-minute televised speech on Friday.
    
"I am requesting the Opposition leader, Khaleda Zia, to respond to my proposal. I hope she will honour my request and give value to our goodwill," she said.
    
Hasina's proposal came as fears of political violence gripped Bangladesh due to extreme differences between the ruling Awami League and main Opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) over the electoral system.
    
The BNP has asked its supporters to rally in Dhaka on October 25 to mount pressure on the government to accept its demand for polls under a non-party caretaker government.
    
Awami League, on the other hand, said that the elections must be held in line with the newly amended constitution under the incumbent government while constitutional experts said the premier's proposal yesterday was unlikely to require any fresh amendment to the constitution.
    
Hasina also sought Opposition advice to conduct fair polls within 90 days ahead of January 24 next year in line with the Constitution.
    
Zia has said that her party would not take part in the polls unless the caretaker system was restored through constitutional amendment as they believed elections under the incumbent government would not be credible and fair.
    
The Opposition said they have called a high-level party meeting to discuss the premier's proposal later today. However, BNP's acting secretary general Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said that the proposal has "nothing new" to discuss about.
    
"BNP, its allies and people of Bangladesh are demanding a national election under a non-party government. This is a very important issue for the present and future of the nation, general people and democracy," he said on Friday.
    
Alamgir said that the premier did not mention who would lead the polls-time interim government while she gave an identical proposal when she was in London recently.
    
"(However) what I'm saying is our initial reaction. We will give our formal reaction on Saturday," he said.
    
BNP's crucial ally fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami, which is currently exposed to a difficult state with several of its stalwarts in death rows or facing long term imprisonments after trial for 1971 liberation war time crimes against humanity, however, instantly rejected the premier's proposal.
    
"Ninety percent of the people want a free and fair election under the caretaker government. There is no alternative to that," Jamaat's acting secretary general Rafiqul Islam Khan said.
    
The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries welcomed the premier's proposal and asked the opposition to accept it to end the political impasse.
    
The constitution states that the election must be held within 90 days of the end of the tenure of the parliament. The term of the current parliament will end on October 25.

(Agencies)

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