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Still in the stalemate

  • Published at 06:22 pm December 14th, 2013
Still in the stalemate

The people of Bangladesh are in this grinding machine created by our major political parties at the moment. We are all concerned about a way out, sooner rather than later. Unfortunately, we the common people, are not feeling enough hope.

The source of the stalemate was the 15th amendment of the constitution that was made without taking the major opposition parties into consideration.

The ruling coalition could not have done this, had there been enough strength of leverage on the part of the opposition. Can we conclude that a landslide victory in favour of one party, or a likeminded group of parties, is bad for democracy and the people?

There is another allegation that the recommendation of the Parliamentary Committee was not heeded and cared for in the process of the amendment of the constitution. So there is another question of maintaining proper procedure relating to the parliamentary activities. What is the use of establishing parliamentary committees if they are not listened to?

However, taking the opposition into consideration for such matters is very important in a democracy, especially when their strength is not so insignificant that they can be ignored. Now, the common people are paying the price for this exclusion.

We would like to vehemently condemn the way the opposition parties are protesting the government’s actions. In no way is it acceptable for them to vandalise and torch vehicles and to burn the people.

It seems that the opposition is taking revenge not for scrapping the caretaker system of polls-time government, rather for the verdicts of the war crimes trials. It seems so because we have never seen such violence in any opposition protest in recent times, not in the four decades since our independence.

Now, what would be the way out of the current stalemate? One way would be giving in to the opposition’s demands either by scrapping the 15th amendment, or at least handing over the prime minister’s position of the polls-time government to a person accepted by both sides. Otherwise, the writer of this piece does not believe the current situation of our political and public life will improve much.

One-sided polls won’t be acceptable to the general public of the country, or the larger international community. Playing the JP (Ershad) card cannot give the expected outcome. It’s already a blunder. Even if JP (Ershad) goes into polls, the opposition won’t stop their violent protests, and they will continue as long as they can, as it is observed.

Much of the opposition’s strength comes from Jamaat. You simply cannot detach their partnership, not too soon at least, when they need each other most.

We don’t know if BNP would be ready to go for polls even without their blessed partnership with Jamaat. We cannot conclude whether that is one of the main reasons for them not to accept the all-party polls-time government, given that Jamaat has been declared ineligible for polls.

Is it not a good solution to get a neutral person as the polls-time chief executive of the government? Why not someone like the speaker of the Jatiyo Shangshad, or any other person who satisfies both sides?

We know that the government is able to go ahead with the election no matter what. But we fear that without the participation of the main opposition parties, the people of the country will not be able to get free from these violent protests, killings, arson attacks, blockades, and countrywide strikes. Everything good that has been achieved so far will diminish in the long run. Shouldn’t we do what is the best for the country and the people?

There is another important factor to consider regarding the proceedings of the war crimes trials. If Sheikh Hasina steps down and someone else is put in charge, the fate of the tribunal remains uncertain. At least, the writer of this article feels that way. We all understand what might happen if the AL is defeated in the upcoming election, as it would need at least a few more months to complete the ongoing proceedings.