Bangladesh's ex-military dictator Hussain Mohammad Ershad Thursday joined forces with a rightwing Muslim spiritual leader committed to Islamic rule.
Ershad and Syed Mohammed Fazlul Karim, leader of the religious group Islami Shashantatra Andolon, formed the Islami Jatiya Oikkya Front (IJOF) pledging in a written statement to "establish Islam at state level to ... restore permanent peace and freedom to the people."
At a crowded press conference, Karim said it was "a sin" to have women in top leadership, though he added they could "work as co-operators."
"The leadership of (opposition leader) Khaleda Zia and (outgoing) Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed is totally unacceptable," he said.
Ershad, who heads the Jatiya Party, made Islam the state religion when he was in power in the 1980s.
He said he agreed with Karim's views on women in politics and added his wife -- an MP who leads the Jatiya Party faction in parliament -- would have to wear a veil – DHAKA (AFP)
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