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Practice of democracy in the political parties should be ensured November 29, 2007

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, POLITICS.
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[Views] Our political parties do not practice democracy by themselves.

CEC recently told that constitution of the political parties must contain democracy to be registered to the Election Commission.

Professor Mujaffar Ahmed, Economist and Civil Society leader said that mere presence of democracy would not be enough, the practice of democracy should also be ensured in the parties. The Election Commission should be harsh in this regard if necessary, he opined.

There is little scope for democracy in BNP, one of the major political parties, as all the power is vested to the chairperson in the constitution and what is left has been totally ignored for long time. Constitution says to hold election for Chairperson every two years by the majority votes of the members of the national council. But there was no such election since 1993.

The constitution states for holding the National Council every 3 years , but no such council held since 1993. Constitution empowers the National Standing Committee as the highest policy making body but it sits after 6 years in Dec, 2006 and in the recent past.

Constitution also empowers the Chairperson to change the constitution but it will have to be passed by the national council. Though the constitution was changed in 1995 but no such council was held so far. Treasurer is the custodian of the accounts of the party but the money in the banks are transacted in the bank without the signature of the treasurer.

Though the constitution of the AL is more democratic, the practice of democracy is also compromised in the party. The final decision is usually referred to the chairperson and that decisions are accepted by all.

The election for chairperson has not take place for long since. But the AL leaders clam that in many organizational district and thana committees the leadership were selected by direct voting.

Al leaders said hat they are ready to exercise democracy in the party and will accept in such move by the EC.

BNP General Secretary Hafiz said that they are make necessary changes in the constitution.

We hope that all the parties small or large will incorporate democracy in their constitution and practice democracy in their party decisions. [Source: Prothom Alo]


An ordinary citizen

Post Script: 30 Nov 07

The Daily Star in its editorial of 30th instant though agreed with the chief election commissioner’s view but opined that it will not be easy for the parties to organize the party mooting and ratify the constitution. It wants to allow the political parties to implement the democratic rules whatever they have in their constitutions and want to extend one or two more years to exercise full democratic practice in the parties.

The ordinary citizen wants to differ with the idea and opined that the election commission should outline the basic democratic requirements in the party constitution that should also be practiced by the party. There is one more year left for the election to be held.

Interestingly different political parties-AL, BNP and JP already expressed their willingness to change their constitution according to the directives of the EC.





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