‘Competitive politics will vanish through next JS poll’

UNB :
Former Election Commissioner M Sakhawat Hossain said on Wednesday that competitive politics in the country will vanish after the 12th parliamentary election.

‘Competitive politics will no longer exist in the country. Liberal democracy should be forgotten,” he told a discussion meeting in the city on Wednesday.

The discussion titled ‘Bangladesh at the Crossroads–Election, Economy and External Relations’ was organised by the Centre for Governance Studies (CGS).

“Some people want to say, it is participatory only if the people participate. So why do we question dictators? Participatory means the participation of the parties that can challenge and make the election competitive,” he said.

“Whichever party has assumed power, they have corrupted the system, While 5 per cent of votes are being cast, it is being shown as 15 percent. No matter whether the rate of voting is credible or not,” he added.

He also expressed doubts about whether 20 to 25 per cent voter turnout will happen in the upcoming election.

Sakhawat termed the 12th parliamentary election as a process of “finding out an opposition party” adding that 26 parties are participating in the elections, no one can name 13 of them.

After sharing seats with the allies, 240 seats are guaranteed for the ruling party, he said.

Sakhawat feels that “a new definition” of participatory elections is being created through the next election.

Former Cabinet Secretary Ali Imam Majumder said that the election result has lost its appeal.

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“The question has been raised if the opposition party which participates in the election will be elected without the help of the ruling party,” he said. He feared that radical forces could rise in absence of a strong political opposition.

Former Governor of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) Dr Salehuddin Ahmed said that all the regulatory bodies have lost their authority, resulting in corruption.

He said the economy will be on the right track while politics runs in the right direction.

Economist Ahsan H Mansur said that the government is giving some indexes of the economy, which do not match with real pictures.
Referring to the GDP percentage, he said that the GDP figures do not match with the employment, tax-GDP, and revenue collection statistics, he said

Banks are losing the ability to help the government and the private sector as huge looting occurred in the banking sector in the last few years, said Mansur.

NewAge editor Nurul Kabir said there is no chance for the government party to lose in the next election.

He said, “The first step to establish democracy is a fair election. This step could not be taken over the last 52 years. Unscrupulous businessmen, unscrupulous politicians, and bureaucrats have formed a cycle. There is no way out without breaking this cycle.”

Kabir thinks that the government is going to hold a one-party election against the wishes of the people.

Prof Rashed Al-Mahmud Titumir, Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya, Dr Abdul Mazid, former foreign secretary Touhid Hossain, Advocate ZI Khan Panna, Faruk Faisal of Ain-O-Salish Kendra, among others, spoke at the function.

CGS Chairman Manzoor Ahmed Chowdhury presided over the event. CGS executive director Zillur Rahman moderated the event.

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