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Partisan vs Non-partisan election for local governments August 13, 2008

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, GOVERNANCE, local government, POLITICS.
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A controversy is now going on in Bangladesh whether the elction of the local governments should be partisan or no-partisan.
The Election Commission was of the opinion that the local government election should be non-partisan. Accordingly they formulated the local government ordinance 2008 and organised the selected city corporations and municipalities election. But on the plea from an agrieved person, High Court allowed the candidates to use their political identities and connections as the high count found discrepencies in the ordinances promulgated by the EC.
As the mayoral election was close enough then, the EC didn’t filed any appeal against the judgment of the High Court.
But as the basic spirit of the present CTG is to make the local government election non-partisan and to make a qualitative change in the practice of democracy, the EC or CTG may think of filing an appeal against the judgment.
Why the local government should be non-partisan in character? Dr. Badiul Alam Majumder, General Secretary of ‘Citizens for Good Governance’ has projected the following points in a bebate in Prothom Alo:

1) Non-partsan means not necessarily non-political. The local government election, in his views, is non-partisan in character for long. The present EC only added some new provisions in this practice. The elected local government official may not hold the party portfolio, but he is not barred to be a member of the party.

2) Though few may argue that by asking the local govt elected to resign from the post of political parties is virtuallly a process of depoliticisation, actually in Bangladesh the depolicisation developed due to ‘nomination business’ practiced by the political parties. By this process, the non-political businessmen get the opppotuity to buy the nominations of party and ultimately make the parliament ineffective.

3) He added, there are some logic in favour of local government election.
At the locallevel, there are always some people who are not party leaders, but are educated and respectable. If the local governmnet election remain non-partisan, these people might get chance to compete and may change the quality of the local government.

4) This local govermnet system is in other way important that it may prevent the all-engrossing destructive party system to affect the grassroots level. It is found that because of political demarcation, in the past , the areas where the opposition wins, they virtually get no or minimum allotment for the development of the area. [Prtothom Alo:11 August 2008]

An ordinary citizen


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