'Constitution Amendment Thru Consensus'
Sunday, 25 July 2010

Principal architect of the 1972 constitution Dr Kamal Hossain has said that the government should not amend the constitution in haste without building consensus.

"The constitution is sacred. The government should not add anything to the constitution suddenly without unanimity," said Hossain, president of Ganaforum.

He was addressing a workshop on city governance and private sector development on Saturday, organised by the International Business Forum of Bangladesh in Chittagong.

"Public opinion has gone against the Fifth Amendment and the High Court has also rejected it since it was done during the military government."

He said that it was essential to elicit public support for amending the constitution.

"The controversial issues of the constitution are being removed following High Court verdict on the Fifth Amendment. So if any government wants to bring some supplementary changes, they should be done carefully and through a national consensus."

Kamal Hossain said that BNP should participate spontaneously in the constitutional amendment process, saying, "It is a national issue. BNP should take part as a political party."

When asked whether 'Bismillah' and Islam as state religion, will remain, he said, "The government has already declared that they will not change Bismillah. And state religion is related to the Eighth Amendment. It is not clear yet what the court had directed regarding that amendment."

He said that politics in the name of religion was abused during the Liberation War of 1971. "People do not want that see such politics revived."

The eminent jurist congratulated the 15-strong 'special committee' formed for amending the constitution in light of the High Court verdict.

Chaired by Business Forum president and former mayor Mahmudul Islam Chowdhury, the workshop was also attended by city mayor M Manzur Alam, central BNP vice chairman Abdullah Al Noman, former advisor to the caretaker government M Hafizuddin Khan and Chittagong Chamber senior vice-president M A Alam.

Source: bdnews24.com

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