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Bangladesh Nobel peace winner drops political plan

Bangladesh Nobel peace winner drops political plan
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First Published: Fri, May 04 2007. 02 26 AM IST
Updated: Fri, May 04 2007. 02 26 AM IST
DHAKA: Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus, who late last year announced plans to form a party to bail out the country from confrontational politics, said on 3 May he has decided to give up the plan.
“I have decided to back out from my efforts for forming a political party, bowing to the practical aspects of the situation,” he said in a statement.
Yunus won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for helping poor women escape poverty by offering micro-credit through his Grameen Bank, earning the nickname ”banker to the poor”.
Bangladeshis, irrespective of caste and creed, felt national pride at Yunus’s worldwide recognition, but he drew criticism from various quarters after unveiling his plan to form a political party that would lead the country forward through good work and harmony.
He had named his yet unborn party Nagarik Shakti (citizen’s power) and invited Bangladeshis, in an open letter, to join him in the new effort.
On 3 May, Yunus said those who encouraged him to form the party had later declined to back him.
Yunus issued the statement on 3 May, after he met Fakhruddin Ahmed, head of the army-backed interim government, at his official residence on Wednesday night.
Yunus said he felt the interim government, which had restored relative calm in the country after deadly political violence last year, would be able to steer Bangladesh to further progress with the people’s support.
The stated main objective of the interim authority is to hold a free and fair election. But Fakhruddin has vowed to rid the country of corrupt politicians first.
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First Published: Fri, May 04 2007. 02 26 AM IST
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