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Speakers at view exchange meeting

Election should be free and fair; there is no room for compromise

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Staff Reporter :
Participants at a meeting on Friday in the city to exchange views on the country's ongoing political situation said no one would be able to make dictatorship permanent in this country.
They said it's a matter of sorrow that they have to give call for a united movement for restoration of democracy after 46 years of the country's independence. They also said the next parliamentary election should be fair by all means. There is no option to compromise.
The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) arranged the meeting titled 'the rule of law and democracy' at the South Hall of the Supreme Court bar building in the city yesterday. Advocate Zainul Abedin, President of the SCBA was in the chair while veteran lawyer Dr Kamal Hossain was the lead discussant in the event.
Former President of SCBA Advocate Khandker Mahbub Hossain, founder of Gonoshasthaya Kendra Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury, Senior journalist Dr Mahfuzullah, Convener of Nagarik Oikya Mahmudur Rahman Manna, Dr Shahdeen Malik, Professor Dr Asif Nazrul, Advocate Subrata Chowdhury were among others who spoke on the occasion. Suprme Court Bar Secretary Barrister A M Mahbub Uddin Khokan conducted the meeting.
Senior lawyer Barrister Mainul Hosein sent a written statement in the meeting, as he could not attend it for being out of the country. Barrister Khokan read the statement at the meeting.
Dr Kamal Hossain said, "No one can be able to make dictatorship permanent in this country. This is my firm belief. We have proved it many times. It's sad that we have to give call for a united movement again after 46 years of independence and we have to take the preparation for it. Election should be fair. We have found this Constitution with a high cost. So, there is no option to compromise."
"Do not forget the contribution of the Supreme Court. The biggest experience of my life is the lawyers' movement against the autocratic regime of H M Ershad.  We went to every district. We did break the court. The lawyers of Bangladesh have proved many times that they have played a leading and commendable role in the movements against injustice." Dr Kamal added.
"Let us make sure that we all unite in favor of a free and fair election disregarding who come from which party. And we have to play as a watchdog. This election will not be like the election of January 5 in 2014," he said.
Advocate Zainul Abedin said, "The reality is that the lower judiciary of the country is under the control of the government. The lower courts operate in directions of the government. We are afraid of this. It seems that the Supreme Court is also under their control. There is doubt whether the people of the country can depend on the Supreme Court. The lawyers' society is afraid after a former Chief Justice was forced to leave the country."
Advocate Khandker Mahbub Hossain said, "There is no possibility to hold a free and fair election under a dictator. But a fair election is very important to establish democracy and to give people the right to vote. We all have to work in the field to establish the rule of law and democracy. Let us unite for the establishment of the democracy. The United Front was formed in 1954 to establish the right of the people. Now we have only one issue to regain the rule of law in the country."
In the written statement, Barrister Mainul Hosein presented a revised outline of the election-time caretaker government which will be formed by the President in consultation with the major political parties. Barrister Mainul warned that no election-time government will be like taking over power unconstitutionally and the offence will be grave.
Mahmudur Rahman Manna said, "There is no rule of law in the country. BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia will not have been punished if there is rule of law. It is injustice that Khaleda Zia is in jail and it is more injustice that she is not being fairly treated."
Professor Asif Nazrul said, "People had organized united movement even when misrule and anarchy were less than the present time. How much injustice we need to call for united resistance, he wondered saying he cannot understand why our political leaders, lawyers and journalists are not able to agree to a united movement to form a people's government. How much ruin we will have to see?"

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