Local Government Polls an Experiment for EC!

Nirmal Gomes

Nirmal Gomes

Recently the Election Commission (EC) announced that the local government polls in four city corporations and nine municipalities will be held on August 4 this year. The caretaker government will relax the Emergency Powers Rules (EPR) in respective areas to allow campaign processions and rallies.

In the mean-time one of nation’s major political parties BNP has already rejected the schedule for local-body elections and its arch rival Awami League (AL) also termed it a ‘conspiratorial and farcical move’. Jatiya Party (Ershad), one of the other small parties welcomed the decision to hold city corporation and municipality polls before parliamentary elections and urged the government to declare the schedule for Upazila elections too. It looks like the scheduled local government election will remain controversial to some political parties and individuals.

The care taker government’s Chief Adviser (CA) and EC both are very determined to finish local government polls prior to the declared general election in December. The nation’s political parties are still wondering what the government really want and what is in their mind. The reality is that these leaders should not take the nation towards chaos cooking up some less important issues and derail the government from the path of general election. No doubt that all the parties and the people of the nation do not want to go back to the pre 1/11 situation. Everybody should be strongly committed to restoration of the democracy in the country. And it does not mean that the care taker government and EC should simply hold a farcical election. The CA and EC both vowed to execute the elections as fair, neutral, and accepted to all. The political leaders often demand that the general election should be held immediately and thus try to force the government to handover the power to the elected persons. Of course, they must have meant that the ‘election’ should be held as per due process. As due process involves a lot of parameters the question is what kind of election the political parties and general citizens really desire?

We have seen that the EC along with CA has been working towards the polls according to a plan. It is of everybody’s concern that after 1/11 the nation’s political parties and individuals have not reached a common platform to make a mutually respectable decision for the sake of the nation’s future socioeconomic and political issues. The government’s use of emergency rules against the party leaders has muddied the process. The government is getting little cooperation and nothing more than negative response from the political parties and individuals which are also not desired. Ultimately these impediments will slow down the process of the government’s electoral activities. If the government is still determined to give their power to the elected persons sooner or later, this can be considered an optimistic sign.

It seems that the EC will face a tough challenge to hold the local government polls but will march ahead with its plan. The positive side of it is that it would be an experiment for the EC as well as the government if they want to hold fair, neutral and accepted polls without any muscle power and black money. The experience of this poll can be used in the general election just months away from it. Now the nation can only wait and see how the government approaches the local government election and how the political parties respond to it. It will give us an outlook how the parliament election will be executed by the government.


211 Responses to “Local Government Polls an Experiment for EC!”

  1. Engr. Khondkar Abdus Saleque

    If political parties can rely on CTg for free and fair National election do not understand why it can not do the same for CTG to hold the local government election.On the otherhand if Election Commission is in a position to hold the local body election by OCtober 2008 why it can not hold the national election first if that guarrantees participation of all parties.At this stage CTg must not create new confusions.They overdid everything they tried till now and failed to close out most of it.Why another unconstitutional body was allowed to create panic in the name of corruption hunting? What a minor major know about corruption in public sector? We haerd very grave situation in many public sector utility companies. Newspapers and media blew these up.Now powerful advisor is teeling that the the high powered body did not have legal right to investigate. In remaining time it will be impossible for CTg to close out many hurriedly lodged baseless (?) allegations against major politicians. In any election either of the two major political party led fronts will win.Then the propnents of minus two theory will be hunted down. There will another series of drama.
    Anyway CTG will be better advised to act according to their capacity and not to go beyond their main task holding of General Election as soon as possible. The political elements against whom there are credible evidences of corruption and other criminal offences must get punishment .Otherwise whtever little the nation gained over the last year and a half will drifet back to square one.

  2. Arshad Rahman

    I am bored to death by the dull performance of this undemocratic CTG. It was ridiculous to hear the CA saying in Chittagong that they will not participate in the general elections as competitors of AL and BNP. By saying so he has corrupted the idea of the CTG that came into being after fall of Bangladesh’s most corrupt and immoral military dictator in 1991. Then in the evening you hear Anisul Islam Mahmud of JP lending legitimacy to the CTG and the EC, one of whose commissioners is the in-law of Mahmud. An unethical person like Ershad will obviously serve as a lackey of the military-backed junta to have his sins erased from record.

    I think Delawar Hossain of BNP’s scathing remarks about the ulterior motives of this overextended, extraconstitutional govt makes sense. At least this guy has the guts to speak out against the unconstitutional acts of this ‘imposed-from-abroad’ setup.

    I ardently appeal to this unelected, below-average performimg government to hold elections by October as demanded by Hasina and Khaleda and spare us the discomfort of viewing these monotonous, boring, fellas (disconnected from the common people) in what was once a vibrant, economically prospering, democratic Bangladesh!

    The sooner these goofs leave the scene the better it is for Bangladesh. Otherwise, the country and it’s huge natural resources will be sold out to their foreign masters and mentors in no time.

  3. Nirmal L. Gomes

    Dear Md. Abdus Saleque and Rahman:

    Thanks for your constructive comments reading my commentary posted in E-Bangladesh online newspaper. I am understand what you meant about our Bangladeshi politics and also present care taker government. Bangladesh has long experienced that when people come to the power does not matter they are elected or unelected their behavior changed automatically. I do not believe that holding general election bring the positive change in the nation. I can challenge that even 50 highest virtues, good, and skilled people also can not change our present situation if mass people do not try to change or modify individual behavior and attitudes from grassroots level and if the nation does not introduce curriculum from the primary school on moral and ethical development and social responsible to be a good and responsible citizen. Who will do it? That’s the big question?
    Anyway, I agree with Md. Raham that Bangladesh will lose natural resources if the present CT continues. That’s also question that how could be sold this NR? Is it for greater benefits of Bangladesh or individuals interests?
    yes, indeed, the present CTg should do what they can do. Of course, their treatment should be to preventive and curative both. They must not create another situation that nation will be turned into serious condition.

    The past and present situations do not inspire me to say that Bangladesh has any single leader who can bring prosperity and political sustainability, and peace within next 20 years. It looks like that powerless people and poor people (majority of the population) will be suffered day and night as they have done in the last 37 years. But I wish all the best and have a great hope for the nation.
    May God bless Bangladesh and its people, that’ s I can say for now.

    June 30, 2008

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