ping-pong with democracy
Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury
Most of the newspapers in Bangladesh
are focusing on the resignation of Chief Election Commissioner Justice
M.A. Aziz, saying his resignation would immediately resolve the
political crisis in Bangladesh. But, possibly their expectation is too high if not too wild. When the 14-Party Alliance
forced their demand for not making former Judge K.M. Hassan as the
Chief of the Caretaker Government and went on street almost with a kind
of militant protest killing several people, Dhaka
press was very optimistic that, if Hassan would step back, there would
be a total resolution to the crisis. In reality, it was not. Awami
League led 14-Party Coalition had many more ‘Cards’ in their wallet.
Once Hassan issue was gone, they immediately brought Chief Election
Commissioner M.A. Aziz issue. And, if this will be resolved, certainly
will bring their third demand. This time possibly they will press
forward the demand for a fresh voter list and introduction of voter ID
cards. Let us simply estimate the time required for preparing a new
voter list and ID cards for more than 75 million voters. According to
experts, it might take at least 6-9 months. Although in reality it
might even more time. So, there is no chance of any election in Bangladesh, at least in January. It is for sure!
So, if there is no election in January 2007, should there be any constitutional problem in Bangladesh?
According to constitutional experts, if the election is impossible
within 90-days frame work of the Caretaker government, the tenure of
the CG might be extended for another three months. But, again, if the
election would not take place during that extended time, there should
be definitely a serious constitutional crisis in Bangladesh.
No one wants to predict the facts after this extended period. Former
General Mainul Islam Chowdhury said, “I do not even want to think about
that, it is too dangerous situation in that case”.
There is now a million dollar question in front of the entire nation in Bangladesh.
Should country’s democracy finally survive when political parties have
stated playing ping-pong with that? Former Secretary and editor of The
Bangladesh Today, M. Asafuddowlah said in a television show that there
is no chance of any resolution of the present political crises as the
gap between the confronting political opponents are too big. He said,
army should be immediately called to resolve the crisis to save
country’s economic back bone.
with the third round of country-wide blockade program of Awami League
led 14-Party alliances, country’s export trade, especially readymade
garment sector has already entered into a very critical situation,
which business leaders term as extremely crucial. President of
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA),
Fazlul Huq told reporters a week back that, due to blockade and
suspension of works at country’s main sea port, exporters are forced to
ship their export consignments by air, which actually is causing huge
financial loss to them. He said, if this situation will continue,
country’s textile and readymade garment sector will soon collapse. The
leaders of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association
(BGMEA) yesterday said they will hold a sit-in in the Bangabhaban area
tomorrow if President and Chief Adviser Iajuddin Ahmed fails to break
the current political stand-off by today.
BGMEA decision came after the advisers to the caretaker government on
Monday night said they are hopeful about finding a solution to the
crisis with the next 48 hours.
on Sunday, the garment factory owners issued a 12-hour ultimatum to the
president to break the deadlock; otherwise, they said, they would stage
a sit-in on the premises of the presidential residence Monday.
later they had decided to have the decision approved by the association
members and accordingly, they called an emergency board meeting at the
BGMEA office yesterday. At the meeting, the members overwhelmingly
endorsed the sit-in program, said sources.
will have to go for a sit-in in front of the Bangabhaban if President
Iajuddin fails to work out a solution by today," Tipu Munshi, the
immediate past president of BGMEA, told the press.
He said, "The majority view at the meeting was that we hold the demonstration."
a press conference after the board meeting, former BGMEA president
Annisul Huq said, "We must organize the program as the so-called
constitutional and democratic politics of the political parties has
been ruining our industry."
BGMEA President SM Fazlul Haque, however, did not make any comment on the planned sit-in.
He said, "We will meet the president and chief adviser on Thursday and then decide on what to do."
in a statement signed by Salahuddin Ahmed, acting secretary of BGMEA,
said the board meeting has decided to submit a memorandum to the chief
adviser, advisers and the governor of the Bangladesh Bank, depicting
how badly the garment sector has been affected due to the ongoing
statement said the apparel factory owners and manufacturers hope that
the current crisis will come to an end within the deadline spelt out by
the interim government. They will announce more programs if things do
not improve by that time.
now there is a final word from Sheikh Hasina, leader of Bangladesh
Awami League. She said, if the Chief of the Caretaker government will
fail to implement 11 point demand of her 14-Party Alliance,
the country will experience civil coup. It is learnt from sources that,
13 other partners of the alliance, mostly leftist parties failed to get
even a single seat in any past election in Bangladesh, as they do not
have credibility to the people, nor people of Bangladesh supports
leftist politics. So, these elements are forcing Awami League towards a
situation to either seize power through civil coup or to foil the next
general election, so that their importance would remain in public.