Holding of upazila polls
Thursday, 31 July 2008

Govt could have a compromising attitude towards major political parties

A proposal placed by AL presidium member Amir Hossain Amu on July 28 called for holding the elections to the parliament and upazillas simultaneously on the same day. This proposal has come against the backdrop of a political crisis caused by continued difference and strain in the relations between the government and the major parties. The crux of the political crisis is the discord between the government and the political parties on the timing of the holding of upazila polls and lifting of the emergency. The government is bent on holding the upazila polls before parliamentary elections and under emergency rules. Its loyal Election Commission is trying to justify holding of upazila polls first by accusing the major parties of not holding these elections during their successive regimes over fifteen years. But the Two major parties Awami League and BNP are demanding parliamentary polls first and withdrawal of emergency before polls. They allege that the government is desperately trying to hold the upazila polls first to implement is `hidden agenda' of perpetuating power by creating a political base. The AL leaders have also vowed to resist the upazila elections if arranged before the parliamentary polls. If both the government and the two major parties continue to stick to their guns there is every possibility of a political confrontation and turmoil in the country which may delay and even disrupt the holding of the national polls. Such a development is most unwarranted and must be averted at any cost. The people of the country do not want confrontation, conflict and instability. They want peaceful elections and smooth transition to democracy. That may be ensured if the entire electoral process can move on the basis of solid understanding and consensus between the government and the political parties. So, the government should give up its rigidity and initiate dialogue with the major parties to reach an understanding on the election issue. The proposal for holding the upazila and parliamentary elections simultaneously may be considered to end the political crisis and ensure smooth transition to democracy.

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