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Tuesday, November 13, 2018 03:08:05 AM
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Govt is Election Commission, no other Election Commission can be independent

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By MAINUL HOSEIN
18th-Dec-2016       
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As there is no election time non-party caretaker government, the sitting party government shall be in charge of the election. It defies logic to expect another Election Commission to be independent as against the government competing to win the election.
The effective negotiation should be with the government because nobody else but the government can assure about maintaining neutrality in the election process. As the government cannot afford to lose the election so the government must win.
At the insistence of the opposition President Abdul Hamid has undertaken the responsibility of negotiating with the political parties for choosing the Chief Election Commissioner acceptable to all parties. The object is unattainable, unanimity being impossible.
Blaming the lame duck opposition parties is not the full answer when it is about election to form people's government and their right to vote.
The most pertinent question to be asked is: Have we been able to show our moral
backbones as a free nation for enjoying rights as a free nation or vote in a democracy?
The shameful truth is that we are now unable to protect the basic right of a citizen -- the right to vote and elect a people's government.
It is fundamental to the functioning of any parliamentary system that a new election time government is installed after dissolution of the parliament under the direction of the head of the state. Thus the government so formed is chosen neither on party basis nor on election basis. It is trusted to be non-partisan and neutral.
In England, it is at the request of the Queen that the sitting Prime Minister continues to run the election time government. The ministers are also appointed by the Queen though on the advice of the newly appointed election-time Prime Minister. But the basis of the government is not election.
It is common sense to know that after the dissolution of the Parliament nobody remains elected. Thus the government so formed is far from being an elected government.
The judgement of our Appellate Division of the Supreme Court that declared the election time caretaker government unconstitutional, not being elected, was a highly divided and disputed judgement induced by a misconception of basic structure of democracy in our Constitution.
By denying the caretaker government free and fair election has been killed. Democracy itself is facing total extinction. The people are the most helpless ones. For remaining in power the government does not need the people's vote.
We have seen last time how the general election became not a voting exercise of the people but a distribution process of the government of seats across the table.
 In my view one of their Lordships Mr Justice Iman Ali took the more appropriate constitutional position by holding that it is for the Parliament to decide how the election should be conducted, the election being a political matter.
  In the famous Brexit case the judges of the Supreme Court (of Britain) had made it clear that they are not dealing with the political decision of Britain's not remaining in the European Union. There are only examining the law. To be more clear, the question being resolved is the role of the Parliament in starting the process of leaving the Union.
The farcical side of the election is best explained by the fact that the Parliament without the opposition is called democracy.

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