Caretaker Government System must not
Be Voided from the Constitution
In the year 1996, under huge political pressure from the major opposition party the Awami league, the then government ruled by Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) introduced the caretaker government system in Bangladesh constitution by making the 13th amendment. The summary of the amendment was that the head of the Caretaker government will be called the Chief Adviser and will be selected by the President and the main objective of the caretaker government will be to create an environment in which an election can be held in a free and fair manner without any political influence of the outgoing government. After the amendment was made in the constitution, an election was held under caretaker government the same year and Awami league won the election. Justice Muhammad Habibur Rahman was the chief adviser at that time and led the election. However, after two long term gaps, in 2008, when Awami league again became the government of the country, since then they are trying to demolish the 13th amendment from the constitution. From my point of view, caretaker government system must be voided from the constitution of Bangladesh as the present government is strong enough to conduct a peaceful and fair election, the Election Commission is very sure about giving clear and acceptable results and there would be no mishaps regarding elections as there would be more law enforcement people working and law implementation.
In 40 years of independence, Bangladesh has experienced the leadership of a few but major political parties. However, the matter of regret is that the existing political parties which successfully gained the trust of people could not gain the trust of each other. It is one of the sole reasons of introducing the caretaker government system in the constitution of Bangladesh. The cause is, as a lack of trust in each other, the political parties do not want to have the national election under the rule of another political party. Noted Jurist Barrister Rafiqul haque in a press briefing clearly stated, “Holding the national election under a neutral caretaker government is a must for Bangladesh as both the major political parties do not have the trust in each other.” He said, “The country’s political situation will be more volatile if the caretaker government system is dropped from the constitution.” It is ironic that political parties who brought in the caretaker government provisions in the constitution in 1996 to ensure free and fair general elections have rendered the system controversial over the years. As the major political parties do not have faith in each other, the caretaker government system is the only option for conducting a clear and peaceful election.
If we look into the political history of Bangladesh we can see that whenever a parliamentary election has been hold by a political government and under its Election Commission, there was always a question of transparency and acceptability of election results. In one hand, where the present chief Election Commissioner, Mr. ATM Shamsul Huda is deliberately saying in every press briefing, “ We are able to conduct a fair election and publish a authentic result”, the past few incidents regarding ‘Municipal and Union election’ shows the story of other hand. There have been enormous reports published in newspapers regarding ‘Municipal and Union election’ which have taken place very recently that the Election Commission’s authorized persons have intentionally made the persons winners who were the supporters of the present government. Reports in the newspaper mentioned about places like Narayangonj, Bikrampur, Gopalgonj and some other also. If in ‘Municipal and Union’ elections, these types of incidents took place then surely the National parliamentary Election held under this Election Commission will be nothing but a stage show. At present, the whole statements of the Chief Election Commissioner have...
References: Karim Tariq A. (January 2007). Bangladesh at the Crossroads. United States Institute of Peace. http://www.usip.org/files/resources/sr181.pdf
M. Abdul Latif Mondal (December 23, 2004). Political Parties and Non-party Caretaker Government. [Electronic version]. EBSCOHost.
Dr. Kamal (March 22, 2011). Caretaker Govt. should stay. Daily New Age.
Hasan Ur Rashid (April 9, 2011) Do we need a caretaker government? Editorial. The Daily Star.
Barrister Rafiqul Haque (April 22, 2011), in his own words [television series episode]. Tritio Matra. Channel I.
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