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Bangladesh - September 12, 2023

Inflexible political attitude

Country prone to conflict

Anwarul Karim: The Election Commission (EC) will soon announce the schedule for the National Assembly elections. The likely date for the election is January next year. Although there are only a few months left, the war of words is still going on with the election government. The ruling party and the opposition are adamant about their respective demands or positions. In this situation, the crisis is intensifying. There is fear in the public mind.
The election is the focus of discussion everywhere from neighborhood tea parties to friends’ circles, offices-courts, news-talk shows. How will the next parliamentary election? BNP or like-minded parties will participate or not? Will this election be like 2014 or 2018? What are the consequences of the main two major parties stubborn position? All such questions are now at the center of discussion.
This reporter of Daily Industrytalked about these questions of the common people – with grassroot public representatives, grassroot leaders and central leaders of political parties, bureaucrats, university professors and dignitaries.
“According to the constitution, the election will be under the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina “, this is one point demand of Awami League. On the contrary, like-minded parties including BNP claim, ’Elections should be held under a non-partisan neutral government.’ Recently, no party has changed its position in the discussions and proposals of various parties, domestic and foreign. On the verge of announcing the schedule, at such a time, the stubborn stance of the two parties is creating a fold of thought on everyone’s forehead. Many people are afraid of this. The supporters of the government are thinking, ’Can Awami League survive the election by managing everything?’ The opposition is also thinking – ’If this movement is not successful, will it be possible to save its existence?’ Although both parties are showing confidence in the public discussion.
Talking about the current political situation, Dhaka University professor and historian Muntasir Mamun told, “Both sides are adamant in their demands. “ Although we think, sometimes they will reach a compromise or try to compromise. If there is no compromise, there will be some conflict. Keeping in mind what is in our constitution, it is not possible to make predictions like that.
In this regard, the Secretary of the citizen for good governance (Sujan) Badiul Alam Majumdar told, “If there is no compromise, conflict is inevitable. “ Will our politicians push the country towards that conflict, or compromise? It is up to them.’
In response to a question related to this, Awami League’s organizing secretary and Jatiya Sangsad Whip Abu Saeed Al Mahmud Swapan said, ’According to the current constitution, RPO, Election Commission laws and rules, election management rules and all laws and rules related to national elections under any government. No chance elections will be held under the Election Commission, not under the government. The government will be there to carry out routine tasks except for election-related functions and to preserve the continuity of democracy. Jamaat-BNP will make every effort to create a conflict situation. The government has the ability to mitigate and suppress it.
He said, “Those who are afraid of rigging in the upcoming elections, should pay more attention to the Election Commission and existing laws and regulations. “ There is a permanent solution in the constitution of Bangladesh and all laws and regulations applicable during elections.
Do you fear a conflict in the stubborn position of both parties? In response to this question, BNP’s co-international affairs secretary Barrister Rumin Farhana told, “People were not allowed to vote in the last two elections (2014 and 2018). People are extremely angry about this. People want to vote. Apart from Awami League and some of their favored parties, all the political parties of the country have entered the field to demand elections under a non-partisan government. In such a situation, the government’s stubbornness, inflexibility, intolerance and tendency not to give up power is leading the country to inevitable bloodshed.
Habiganj District Awami League President and Member of Parliament Advocate Abu Zahir said, “Unfortunate but true when we raised the demand of caretaker government. The then Prime Minister Khaleda Zia said, ’No one is impartial except children and madmen.’ Their actions and our movement at that time proved the rationale of the caretaker government. They were forced to accept the demands of the caretaker government.
Later, the court canceled this system as being in conflict with the constitution. However, the court also said in the observation, it can stay for two more terms if parliament thinks so. Then parliament leader Sheikh Hasina made a committee under the leadership of deputy leader Sajeda Chowdhury. Where BNP leader Barrister Maudud Ahmed and many others were present. There have been several meetings about it. The representatives of BNP did not come to any meeting and offer to follow the observation of the court. That is why we have been able to implement the court’s verdict by amending the constitution.
He said, “There is no option to form the government of a country without elections. “ BNP caretaker government’s claim about this election is unreasonable. There is no people except BNP leaders and activists with this demand. I don’t think anyone in a free country can get away with conflict.’
In a discussion about this, an official at a government docket told, “There is some fear in the administration as well. “ It is normal for anyone to have concerns about the direction the country is going in, just why the administration. However, the issue is political. Politicians have to solve it. The question is how much politics is in the hands of politicians now.
Comilla BaruraUpazila Vice Chairman and Upazila Awami League Vice President Kamal Hossain said, a crisis is brewing in the stubborn position of both parties. BNP and like-minded parties will try to clash if they get an outside shelter. However, it is possible to deal with it if there is party unity including pro-government students and youth organizations along with the administration.
The opinion of the common people who support the government – BNP’s political bankruptcy has already been revealed. They will not be able to join the Awami League in the movement. In this ongoing situation, Awami League will form the government through voting. Not much will change.
Opponents of the government believe that Awami League will not be able to do it this time. The coming BNP-Jamaat joint movement, the US visa policy and sanctions will force the government to retreat. Be it before or after the election.

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