ELECTION-TIME GOVERNMENT: Political parties reject High Court formula

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No political party has supported the two formulas given by the High Court recently for the formation of an election-time government.

Talking to New Age on Friday, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party termed the formulas impractical and some other parties said that the ongoing political crisis could only be resolved through dialogues with all political parties.

The High Court bench of Justice Mirza Hussain Haider and Justice Muhammad Khurshid Alam Sarkar detailed the formulas in its detailed judgement, signed recently, that had legalised the unopposed elections of 153 lawmakers in the present parliament.

In the first formula, the court suggested the formation of a cabinet for 90 days during the electioneering with 50 ministers from political parties based on percentage of votes they polled in the election.

It also suggested that for the sake on an inclusive election, five technocrat ministers might be taken from the parties who boycotted the election to the present parliament.

It said that important six ministries – home, public administration, finance, law, foreign and defence – might be distributed and assigned through lottery among all the parties in order to avoid controversy.

In the second formula, the court suggested that the wining party would govern the country first for a period of four years and the main opposition party would run the country for the rest one year of the tenure.

The court, however, said, ‘This court, having found itself helpless to remedy the petitioner, merely indicated at the above hypothetical theories for consideration by the political parties, particularly who are in the power, who may accept it with or without modification thereto or reject it entirely.’

Ruling Awami League leader Suranjit Sengupta, also the parliamentary standing committee on the law ministry chairman, said that it was not the court to decide how many members would be included in the poll-time cabinet. ‘It is the prime minister to decide this as executive head of the government,’ he said.

BNP standing committee member Mahbubur Rahman said that the formulas were ‘impractical’ as they had no representation in the present parliament.

All the opposition parties, including the BNP, boycotted the January 2014 general election demanding for elections under a non-party neutral government.

Mahbubur, however, said the judgement recognised that the election would be questionable and not fair if held under the current government and as per the present constitution.

Supreme Court Bar Association secretary Mahbub Uddin Khokon, also a BNP joint secretary general, said that the present government would get another scope for holding an election of blue print if either of the formulas was implemented.

Communist Party of Bangladesh president Mujahidul Islam Selim said that the formulas were given considering the participation of the major political parties who were responsible for the crisis. He said that the crisis could be resolved through a national dialogue of all political parties.

Socialist Party of Bangladesh general secretary Khalequzzaman also said that there should be a wide discussion involving all the political parties within and outside the parliament to resolve the crisis.

Ganasanghati Andolan chief coordinator Zonayed Saki said, ‘We want a democratic electoral system for holding a free and fair general election.’

A major amendment to the constitution can resolve the crisis, he said.

Gana Forum president Kamal Hossain, also a senior jurist, said that the observation could help resolve the issue of the election time government. He refrained from making further comments.

The judgement said that while the first formula might be applied without bringing any change in the constitution, however, in order for applying the second formula, an amendment to the constitution might be required.

Source: New Age