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Local government elections, political parties and people March 10, 2008

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, GOVERNANCE, local government.
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The Government is preparing to hold the local government elections before the national election. Local Government experts and many of the citizen groups are in favour of holding local election first.The election may be of city corporations and municipalities or upazilla parishad . The LGRD ministry is in favour of upazilla elction first.

But the declaration of the local government elections has created a controversy in the political circle. Major political parties AL and BNP are against the local government elections before the national election, but AL President Zillur Rahman told that they are against the local government electione but if the government hold the election then they will participate in it. Saifur-led BNP once also said to participate in the local elections

Those who are against the LGE, they are arguing that the caretaker government is not mandated by the constitution to hold LGE. But the leading jurist and the author of the Bangladesh Constitution Dr. Kamal Hussain said that there is no bar under the constitution to hold the local government election unde the Caretaker Government.

As the tenure is over, the local bodies are to be replaced by new representatives

The past political governments failed to hold the Upazilla elections though they were committed to hold the elections as declared in their manifestoes and once directed by the supreme court to hold it during first BNP regime after 90. Other local body elections always maneuvered by the politicalparties in power.

Principally local government should have been independent, administratively and financially but that was not the reality t under the political governments .CTG is promulgating an ordinance, decreasing the power of the MP’s on the local government bodies.

The strongest criticism against the local government elections before the national election is that in the pretext of the strengthening the local government, the present government may continue its tenure in the future which was the case with many other non-elected government in our country and elsewhere.

Though there is a possibility of such a change, but the strengthening local governments will improve transparency and accountability and local governance.

Concept of the local government is pro people , not pro political parties.

Political parties would not like autonomous and independent local bodies so they will oppose and try to prevent any existence of independent local government bodies.

But the people are in favour of strong and independent local government bodies.

An ordinary citizen

13 Mar 2008

Prominent Journalist A B M Musa expressed his opinion on local government elections in a discourse in Prothom Alo where he advocated for local government elections before the parliamentary election.[…]

14 March 2008

The name Tofayel Ahmed always confuses me. Only after going into a little depth of the article I could understood that this Tofayel Ahmed is the Local government expert, not the AL leader. He opined in his article in Prothom Alo published today that politicians are blaming the citizen groups and donor agencies for dissociating the local government system from the politics and political parties. He also added that this ‘conspiracy theory’ is a common and a simplified weapon of our politicians.

He said that we should more concentrate on the structure, activities, leadership,service delivery, accounts system, administration etc of the local government system.

He added that election of the local government is necessary but at the same time time we should also review and rectify the rules of the local governments so that the local government could be an effective system.

He urges to finalise the local government ordinance and to form the Local Government Commission and to reform the regulations of the local government through the commission.[…]

15 March 2008

ABMS Jahur, a former joint secretary in an article ‘ Freeing local governments’ said that the political parties cannot welcome such moves as they have something to lose..’. He also reminded that in the elctoral roadmap the EC declred that election to city corporations, municipalities, upazilla and union parishad will be held from Jan 2008 and onwards. He informed that a high powered committee is in underway to be formed to recommend to strengthen the local government systems.

18 March 2008

Dr. Shahdin Malik, a Jurist in an article in Prothom Alo said that local government system is well established in all our neighboring countries including India, Pakistan and Srilanka.Though we understood the importance of local government much earlier and included in our constitution, but our politicians and beaucrates do not want local governments to be strong in our country . The political parties tried to defer the upazilla elections earlier from 90’s and are trying to defer it now. He proposes to hold LGE earlier than national election or if that not possible, at least it may be held on the same day with the national election. He also dispel the anxiety in relation to the possibility to exploit the the election by the present rulers for political purposes.[…]



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