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Is credible election possible under emergency rule? August 2, 2008

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Will General Election under emergency be possible ?
As the General Election is closing, a debate is growing whether general election under emergency rule will be possible or impossible, and if it is possible will it be credible.

The major political parties are demanding the withdrawal of emergency rule before the general election, even from now and to allow political activities as a prerequisite for a free and fair election in December. Some are even demanding the general election in October 2008. They are arguing if the upazilla election could be held in 300 or more constituencies in October, why not the general election in October. The are against participating in the upazilla election in October.

People are also divided. Professor Mujaffar Ahmed, the Chairman of Sujan (Citizens for Good Governance) said in a write up Prothom Alo that it is not impossible to hold elections under emergency provided the emergency is relaxed sufficiently for the people to propagate for their candidates and to participate in the election without any fear or favour.[PA 31 July 2008]

On the otherhand, Professor Emajuddin, Ex- VC of Dhaka University and a BNP intellect said that election under emergency will not be acceptable.

Visiting UK minister Hazel Blears yesterday said that holding a free and fair election under emergency is not impossible but difficult.[DS]

Will the Government go to do that difficult job?

An ordinary citizen


1. Abdul Barek - August 22, 2008

There can be no credible election under emergency rule. It is preposterous to contemplate such a situation. The constitution gives only 90 days to an unelected caretaker setup to hold parliamentary elections. This army-backed and donor blessed undemocratic government shows no sign of doing anything that will remove serious doubts in the mind of people of holding a free and fair election.

Even today the CA was seen enjoying a Standard Chartered Bank sponsored cultural event in Dhaka whereas he should have been fully occupied with the one and only task the caretaker government is entrusted with by the constitution, i.e., holding the next parliamentary elections as soon as possible.

Both the major parties are repeatedly asking for elections by October, 2008. But the undemocratic government is making things muddy by promulgating ordinances that are beyond the powers given to them. They are rampantly indulging in unconstitutional illegal acts. They should remember that all their acts including ordinances, policies and treaties signed with foreign powers, businesses, world bank and imf will be thoroughly scrutinized by the next elected government.

Almost two years have gone by but there is no respite for the common man from either corruption or alarming price hikes. Even the investigation of the August 21 grenade attack on Sheikh Hasina is being twisted and tampered with. Instead they are terrorizing and intimidating politicians to prolong their grip on power. It was a great blunder in the first instance to let these power-grabbers stay in power a day more than the 90 days allowed in the constitution.

Bangladesh unfortunately is today under a fascist junta that may have to be overthrown through a peoples uprising as had happened in 1991.The streets are already buzzing with such talks.

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