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Constitution is Questioned October 29, 2013

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH.
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Link: Badiul Alam Majumdar in Prothom Alo

An ordinary citizen

Dhaka Divide : Question of Referendum December 6, 2011

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Syed Ashraful Islam, Acting General Secretary of AL challanges BNP to assess their popularity/ to justify their demand not to divide Dhaka by contesting in the coming city corporations elections of Dhaka.

Government is willing to hold the Dhaka city corporations election within next three months. But Election Commision officials said that it will not poosible on their part to hold the city corporation elections in that time period. Moreover, the tenure of the present officials will be ended by February, 2012 . They could at best declare the schedule and the next EC may hold the election. But they now are preferring the Next Election Commission to take the responsibility. The election become more uncertain at this transitional period as the acceptability of next election commission is yet uncertain . The name and the nature of selection is yet not declared by the government.

To the challange of Syed Ashraf, Mr.Fakhrul Islam, Acting General Secretary of BNP demands ‘Referendum’ on the issue of Dhaka divide. 

 But there is no provision of referendum in Bangladesh Constitution. It would have better if the provision would be there as in that case the people could express their opinion in critical national issues.

The ordinary citizen is a little confused why people’s choice is not there for national issues in our constitution. Is it that it was not there in our first constitution and was not thought of by the authors of the first constitution and the Father of the nation? Or is it that the provision was cancelled in a later amendment?

Many of the countries have utilized this provision in their national crisis. Very recently Greece has taken referendum on the issue on remaining in the Eurozone and they are trying to overcome their economic crisis in a collective way.

Bangladesh is facing two important national issues where referendum could be a way out to end the political stalemate, one is Dhaka Divide and the other is Caretaker Government.

Now a time has come, when people don’t like to left aside from the national issues and they want to actively participate in forming the decisions that are extremely important in shaping the future of their lives and of their country.

AL with their absolute majority in the parliament is making many amendments to their benefit, but can’t they amend the constitution to make provision of referendum to ensure people’s participation in national issues other than the general election. People would remember them for ever.

An ordinary citizen

15th Amendment: Dramatic Changes, Sharp Criticism July 23, 2011

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On June 30, 2011 Bangladesh Parliament passed the 15th amendment of the constitution. The amendment made some dramatic changes in the constitution that includes abolition of the caretaker government, setting some unchangeable clause in the constition, dropping of the people’s mandate on any national issues and barring the critism of the constitution.

Though the attentiin of the politicians was more focused on the caretaker govt issue but the other issues are not less important. Gradually Gradually the legal experts and citizen groups are expressing their voice on these issues.

Government shows unnesessary haste in passing the the bill in reference to a supreme court judgment which is not yet fully published and which was not also fully followed in the bill. The haste also create confusion and inconfidence on the intention of the government move.

The citizen groups opined that the country didn’t yet gain the political maturity to conduct the national election neutrally without Govt interference and confrontation.

Whille politicians are engaged in bitter debate on caretaker issue, the legal exerts focused also on other debatable aspects of the amendment.

Shahdin Malik, a senior jurist said that he cried when he had gone through the amendment. He added govt has murred an otherwise good constitution by adding some unacceptable clauses. Dr. Kamal Hussain, one of the author of our first constitution in 1972 , said people have been disowned of the constitution but a democratic government can’t do this. He urged the people to form a people’s commission to resist the govt move to distort the constitution.

The actions and reactions related to the 15th amendment of the constitution will determine the future political course of Bangladesh.

An ordinary citizen


Salient features of 15th amendment: Daily Star
Caretaker system abolished
‘Despicable offence’ committed
self-defeating amendment

Constitutional Reforms: controversies and expectations July 29, 2010

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Government is moving towards reforming the constitution and wants to go back to the 1972 constitution. In this a Constitution Reform Committee of 15 members has been formed headed by Sajeda Chowdhury, Deputy leader of the house and Suranjit Sengupta as the co-chairman of the committee.

BNP was invited to join the committee but refused to join on the plea that the committee is unconstitutional and the objectives of the committee is not clear.

In the meantime, Appellate Division of the Supreme Court has declared its verdict on the Fifth Amendment with some observations.

With this verdict, the Law Minister said that we are going back to the 1972 constitution with main principles of the state as Democracy, Secularism, Socialism and Bengali nationalism.

Reviving the 1972 constitution, Law Minister told with confidence that it will prevent any attempt to acquire power by any unconstitutional means. Dr. Jahir, an eminent Jurist said that Military will not read the constitution before they take over the power. They didn’t read it in the past.The best safeguard against the military takeover of the state power is the good governance by the elected democratic government, opines popular columnist Syed Abul Maksud.

But what about the 4th amendment-is it still existing, Dr. Mahbub ullah, a Professor of Dhaka University asked in a talk show.

Law Minister also said that with the revival of 1972 constitution, religious based parties are automatically become unconstitutional. Professor Dr.Tofayel Ahmed , an expert on the local government said in an interview that the ban will be imposed only if the parties exploit the religion to meet their ends.

Suranjeet Sengupta has said that his committee will take into cognizance the other issues in relation to the constitution and will try to correct them.

An ordinary citizen

Link: Bangladesh Constitution

Verdict on the Fifth Amendment