Saturday, April 28, 2018 11:17:01 PM
Staff Reporter :
Speakers at a function have emphasized an inclusive election to overcome the ongoing crisis in the country where all political parties will get equal right of campaign in favour of their candidates and mass gathering with a free and fair atmosphere.
They said this at a seminar on Saturday afternoon titled "Election for Democracy and Democratic Leadership" organized by Dhaka Dialogue at hotel Asia Pacific in Baridhara Diplomatic Zone.
Former adviser to the caretaker government Barrister Mainul Hosein speaking at the seminar said nothing is more ignominious than to live in a situation where the country is ours but the government is theirs. The demand of free election is the people's demand for accountable governance as required under the Constitution.
"Our democratic Constitution is our people's vision about the form of government, and the kind of society they wish to organise for them," he said.
Subverting free election is violation of a basic structure of the Constitution and grabbing power through such no election is manifestly unconstitutional with consequences grave for an uncertain future. (Articles 7, 21 and 65)
But to our great pain and frustration, we have been watching the annihilating process of all the democratic institutions. The scheme is to demolish, with a show of arrogance, the checks and balances of a democratic government for turning the clock back to the past autocracy of unchecked power so dreadfully rejected by the people, Barrister Mainul said.
"It is clear to us and clear to the world outside that the country is heading dangerously towards one-party autocracy. Only difference is our autocracy, if it succeeds, is not to be a one-person autocracy, but a group autocracy in the service of group interests," he said.
The challenge is to establish the sovereign dominance of the people in public affairs. The minus people election for minus people government must be ended, he mentioned.
He said, "We must talk the talk and walk the walk to prove to ourselves and the world that we are not incapable of challenging leadership or unworthy of freedom."
Barrister Mainul suggested a revised formula of the caretaker/interim election time government for arranging the next general election free and fair:
a)The constitutional structure of election time caretaker government as jointly agreed by all parties should be taken as the basis but with necessary changes;
b)The parliament must be dissolved before the election as is done everywhere under the parliamentary system;
c)The President in consultation with major political parties will form the election time interim or caretaker government. In case no consensus can be reach then the President will be vested with the authority to form the caretaker/interim government from among non-party eminent persons. [Full text on page- 5]
Dr. Saleahuddin Ahmed, a former Bangladesh Bank governor, said, "The government is soughing development, development. But the development is a fake. Without good governance there is no importance of development. Without good governance the development won't sustain."
He said, the impact of lack of good governance affects every sector.
Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury, a BNP standing committee member, said the people of Bangladesh are hoping a fair election but they don't have expectation for a free and fair election. "Bangladesh is going on an uncertain situation. The ruling party is fearing to hold a free and fair election."
Amir Khasru claimed that the ruling party destroyed the democracy. They have also stolen the people's right to vote, freedom of media and, independence of judiciary.
He said, Awami League is not giving any political space to BNP. And before election they will continue it.
He suggested four steps for holding a free and fair election. Firstly, need to political space, secondly electoral space, thirdly, level playing field and finally, election.
Mahmudur Rahman Manna, convener of Nagorik Oikyo, said, without battle no fair election will be held. There is no alternative to a free and fair election. If a fair election is held in the country the ruling party will feel crisis for their existence.
Manna mentioned the recent quota movement and said, such type of movement will happen again and the ruling party won't get path to escape.
"There is no chance that a free and fair election will be organized. But the agitating people are mounting high. If they get change, they will throw the government out of power," he added.
He further said, no autocratic government can stay in power longer. The study of history is that their final ending is so pathetic.
Veteran journalist Mahfuj Ullah questioned whether the next election will be inclusive or it will be like a January 5 type. But there is a possibility of holding the January 5 type election.
He also said, the ruling party's ministers are speaking recklessly and their first and foremost agenda is to attack BNP.
Local government specialist Dr. Tofail Ahmed said, nobody believe that a free and fair election will be held in the present situation.
He said, people want a change but who will hold the steer and come foreword. The feeling of mass fear and mass indifference are going on.
Former diplomat Brigadier Gias Uddin said, there is no democracy in the county's political parties. If there is no democracy in the party, how can we expect democracy for the nation? If democracy is weak than other organs of the state will be weak.
Mohammad Munirruzaman presided over the seminar and Rieta Rahman moderated it.
Professor Mazharul Haque, among others, also spoke on the occasion.
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