Bangladesh needs a Friend like Democracy
It is summer and the sun is spreading hit with full vigor; side-by-side the political scenario of Bangladesh is also being growing a little bit hotter.
There is a long pending issue that which part of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) should be invited in the talk with Election Commission (EC). Mentionable that as EC has a road map of holding election by December 2008, talks with the political parties is a part of the said road map.
All major political parties other than BNP had meeting with EC twice. After one/eleven of 2007 BNP was broken into two parts. One is known as reformist faction, led by Sifur Rahman and Abdul Mannan Bhuyan the two heavy weights of unified BNP and other part of BNP popularly known as Khaleda (the imprisoned Chairperson of BNP) faction.
EC was in confusion that which one is the mainstream BNP. At last EC issued invitation letter to retired Major Hafiz Uddin, the Secretary General of reformist BNP. Kh. Delower Hossain, the Secretary General of Begume Zia loyalist faction of BNP opposed it vigorously.
Eventually this issue went to high court and the court directive said that it was not a matter of court. EC is the final authority to handle the logjam situation. After the court direction EC called upon two faction of BNP to come up for talks as a unified organisation.
After the 72 hours dateline got over, EC invited reformist for talks. As a result Begume Khaleda Zia loyalist faction declared that under this EC they will not intending to participate in any election, rather they demand the resignation of CEC and other Commissioners.
On the other hand the front organisations of Awami League (AL) had already a joint meeting to press the parent organisation i.e. AL, to launch movement for unconditional release of party chief Sheik Hasina and other imprisoned leaders. Even the leaders of the front organisations said that if AL were not intending to go for movement, they would start lawful political activities in favor of the Demand, the unconditional release of AL president and other political leaders. As a part of the movement, AL and its front organisations have already gone for symbolic hunger strike, signature campaign and other relevant programs.
On one hand interim government is running a pre dialog talks with the political parties on the other hand the political parties are coming up to warm the street in favour of their demand.
The coming days will be tougher for the government to handle the political parties and social activist groups, if the government and other authorities are not able to act as per the objective to hold a credible election to transfer governance to a political government.
In Bangladesh there is a custom that foreign guests and diplomats stationed in Dhaka are often talked on the political issues of the country.
Very recently newly appointed US Ambassador to Dhaka Jems F.Moriarty told in a press conference that holding of a credible election is very difficult under the state of emergency. For an acceptable election, it is need to withdraw the state of emergency from Bangladesh.
Chery Blair, a renowned British Lawyer and wife of former British Premier Tony Blair also said in her latest Dhaka visit that she is a lawyer and a human rights activist. As a human right activist her observation is that state of emergency is a very big bar for human rights that is why emergency should be withdrawn as early as possible.
Local rights organisations, civil society leaders, intellectuals and even the grass root level local body leaders have also a demand that emergency should be withdrawn before the declaration of election schedule. In fact political parties, civil society, development partners and international community are eager to see Bangladesh as a Democracy. All of them are keen to experience a national election as of the road map stated by EC.
Recently Barbara Richardson, Canadian High Commissioner to Bangladesh, said in a gathering of journalist and civil society representative that election will be held this year in Bangladesh. The country is passing a crucial time for democracy. Democracy is a good friend. Bangladesh needs that friend.
It is true that Development and Democracy are very close friends. Development in terms of rights of speech, rights of information, fundamental rights of citizen, economic growth, business & trade expansion, FDI and reduction of Hunger, democracy is the primary condition for a Nation. So as saying by Canadian High Commissioner, Bangladesh needs a Friend like Democracy.
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