Monday, September 24, 2007

Illegal hands of the Election Commission

The current army backed government is tactfully using the Election Commission and the Anti Corruption Commission to redesign the political landscape of Bangladesh. They may have forgotten that democracy can not be imposed from the top to bottom or erected superficially by using authority. Democracy may return but will not last when it is coerced to be shaped by fear and retribution. BDnews24 reports,
Dhaka, Sept 23 (—Worker's Party president Rashed Khan Menon Sunday came down heavily on the government and the Election Commission.

"The government is using the Election Commission to do the unpopular job of reining in political parties because the present interim government is not in a position to do so lawfully."

"Attempts are underway to push secret agenda through the Election Commission," Menon said in his address to a discussion on "Electoral Reforms" held in the party's Motijheel office.

Other senior members of the party also spoke at the discussion, chaired by convener Abul Hossain.

Menon further said, "The government speaks of graft and plunder but doesn't say anything against communalism and fundamentalists."

"If fair elections were held, Jamaat would not score more than 8 percent of votes," he asserted.

Menon said: "We want registration of political parties to strengthen democracy, but registration does not mean regulating the parties."

"The EC has no right to decide or impose conditions on the running of the political parties or their constitutions and manifestos. Our relationship with the EC is based on ballots."

"We should remember that demand for reforms to the election laws was not a gift from the Election Commission. It's the outcome of people's movement," he said.

Commenting on the recent events relating to the "rogue cartoon", he said: "People's faith in religion is not fragile to be shaken with one stroke. People are God-fearing, not communal."

Menon blamed former presidents Ziaur Rahman and HM Ershad for what he said was destroying the election system.

Fazle Hosain Badshah, a member of the party politburo, demanded a ban on politics in places of worship.

"The EC should deal with any speech, slogan or poster posing danger to collective harmony."

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