PDA

View Full Version : CG system declared unconstitutional


Zunaid
May 10, 2011, 08:44 AM
The Supreme Court on Tuesday declared illegal and rescinded the 13th amendment to the constitution that introduced the provision for holding parliamentary elections under caretaker governments.

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/latest_news.php?nid=29739

Has the SC been completely bought now? First the Yunus case and now this.

Beamer
May 10, 2011, 11:19 AM
Party in power ekhon vote churi korbey aramsey come election time.

Isnaad
May 10, 2011, 11:25 AM
Being a neutral, I actually don't welcome this decision. Although I ve very little knowlege regarding this...
<br />Posted via BC Mobile Edition (Opera Mobile)

roman
May 10, 2011, 11:49 AM
superb...we might see AL in power for the next 20 years...Bangladesh er manush ki kisu bujhe na???

Rubu
May 10, 2011, 12:17 PM
Shocking. Supreme court is now a wing of AL?

A sad say for Bangladesh.

Nasif
May 10, 2011, 12:44 PM
AL fought for CG when they forced the 13th amendment on BNP govt during 1996 BNP govt. short tenure. Now, when they are in power they want to shutdown CG!

This will probably lead to a big political turmoil. BNP might just be able to unite their party under the banner of "Fight for CG".

Ashfaq
May 10, 2011, 02:09 PM
Omens are bad. Where are we heading now??

cricket_dorshok
May 10, 2011, 02:19 PM
^^ bongobondhu desh.

Sohel
May 10, 2011, 10:22 PM
I don't have a problem with the SC's decisions and don't think they've been politicized. The HC and the lower courts have been but not the SC. Not yet anyway.

The SC is giving our politics 10 years or 2 more Parliamentary elections to get healthy and abandon the culture of attempted election engineering and gratuitous conflict. I'm not sure if that's enough time but feel it's good that there's some sort of target up there. The CG system was always a temporary solution to ensure fairness until the positive evolution of our political culture made it redundant.

The SC's decision to uphold the HC's decision with regards to Dr. Yunus is also right from a judicial perspective. Wasn't a hard decision really. The problem there is "Yunusing", the PM's vindictiveness, the shameless pandering of otherwise decent politicians like Dr. Dipu Moni and AMA Muhith, and our global exposure as a mean little fiefdom.

PoorFan
May 11, 2011, 12:46 AM
I personally think this CS's verdict is a step forward, Caretaker Government System actually polarized every govt. institution.

My comments, dated October 31, 2006. ...

In a sense, this caretaker government system seems have some ultimate fault ( not that I have any better idea though ), for example electing 'president' and 'chief advisor'.

Both of those post / person not having mandate from people by vote, rather president get appointed by 'mutual understanding' among ruling party and opposition, which is current and most ideal way. But in reality our politicians has no slightest trust on each other to be settle on a big issue like selecting president. Selecting president by 'mutual understanding' will remain as a illusion and controversy in coming days too. On the other hand, what is the criteria to be a candidate of president? As we can see from past, politically unbiased personal from civil society such as education, justice are in picture ( till now ). But again in reality, every educational institution's authorities are completely politically biased including their official activity, management, and curriculum. So how realistic it is to search for a politically neutral personal out of them? Is it possible without any controversy and doubt to settle down among political parties every time? The answer is obvious. More we drag these education personal in active politics, specially a key figure of government WITHOUT general election, more we destroy education environment as we can see political grouping among professors. Shouldn't we put aside our education sector out of politics? as well as military, police, justice department and etc.?

On a side note, till now we experienced president selected from ex professor of Dhaka University, what if some 'democratic party' demand someone as president from a 'madrassa come university' someday, and force it ( like BNP did in their time )? Imagine he take over the power of caretaker government, as well as military at the end, and going to hold an election from which the winner will run the country for next five years! Madrassa guy or not, imagine he is doing it without people's mandate!

Same goes with chief advisor too. Selecting chief advisor from justice department, making justice department a 'political battle field' as a result. Moreover, our justice department authorities are already politically biased as we see day to day. How can we expect someone politically unbiased out of them unanimously? Is it seems realistic especially from now on ( given the Hassan controversy this time )? The answer is again negative I think. And as I mention earlier on dragging education personal in active politics, we are destroying justice environment in this case too, and we should leave these justice people aside until they come to politics through general election after their retirement or step down.

What I am trying to say is, we should not drag these people ( education, justice ) in politics, rather they should remain as our brain and social advisor. <!--StartFragment -->They should continue their contribution and hard work to build basic platform of our society, and remain as role model of next generation. We can ask their help in the time of emergency or crisis, not taking governing power of the country every time of election. Of course those who like to do politics, should step down from current job and should go through general election ( elected by people ).

Now who should be the 'president' and 'chief advisor' of a caretaker government?? as a matter of fact I have no idea too ... But somehow I fell it would be better someone from more general civilians like well known retire engineer, doctor, author, columnist, journalist etc., FROM private sector ( the criteria should be more detail ). And should be nominated by political parties, as well as elected by people WHEN / IF they cant come to an unanimous decision. The role of 'president' and 'chief advisor' of a caretaker government seems extremely vital from the perspective of country's stability and people, and SHOULD NOT be given to anyone WITHOUT having mandate from people. ( especially when political parties fail to come to an unanimous decision like this time )


Threads on those days.
President IazUddin as Caretaker Chief Advisor -Your Views (http://www.banglacricket.com/alochona/showthread.php?t=17780&highlight=Chief+advisor)

Should CEC Aziz resign? (http://www.banglacricket.com/alochona/showthread.php?t=17910&highlight=Chief+advisor)

My comments on CEC Aziz back then.
<!-- END TEMPLATE: navbar_link -->
He himself making him a laughing stock. All he did till date is wasting time but doing nothing, at least no decency to his constitutional job, respect to high court, rectify voter list etc., rather he was busy fooling around people, and wasting valuable time. His kind of people never deserve a constitutional post, any advisor of current CTG would have done Aziz job better.

On the other hand it's true, BAL is setting examples to destroy constitutional institutions, but than again this CTG system itself has full of flaws, and BNP act made it more questionable. Selecting president, selecting CEC and other commissioners, selecting chief advisor Hassan etc. all these genius politics appeared as controversies at the end.

At any point BAL anarchy is out of question, no body has right to held country and people 'hostage' for any political demand. it's purely politicians failure including BAL, BNP etc., not us.

<!-- / message -->

Alchemist
May 11, 2011, 01:55 AM
I don't have a problem with the SC's decisions and don't think they've been politicized. The HC and the lower courts have been but not the SC. Not yet anyway.

The SC is giving our politics 10 years or 2 more Parliamentary elections to get healthy and abandon the culture of attempted election engineering and gratuitous conflict. I'm not sure if that's enough time but feel it's good that there's some sort of target up there. The CG system was always a temporary solution to ensure fairness until the positive evolution of our political culture made it redundant.

The SC's decision to uphold the HC's decision with regards to Dr. Yunus is also right from a judicial perspective. Wasn't a hard decision really. The problem there is "Yunusing", the PM's vindictiveness, the shameless pandering of otherwise decent politicians like Dr. Dipu Moni and AMA Muhith, and our global exposure as a mean little fiefdom.

Sohel Bhai

Regarding highly sensitive and important national issues, Supreme Court’s role is different than the lower courts, IMO. SC’s decisions should come from Wisdom and not just blindly following a copy of the law book they’ve got. In both CG and Dr. Yunus cases, they’ve followed written procedures over Wisdom (by ignoring all the surrounding factors with these cases).

Our democratic system hasn’t evolved much (I would rather say not evolved at all, what a tribute to the freedom fighters!) and we all know what would AL/BNP do if they don’t win the next national election. Still, you want to support this?

Caretaker Government was/is a fabulous idea and to my opinion, it would be a great mistake if we scrap it. I know you’re a supporter of AL, but I don’t think AL or BNP or XYZ (read any current political parties in BD) prioritises national interests above their own personal interests/agendas.

Actually, I find it pretty hard to believe that a person with a spine could support these political parties. They’re rotten to the core. My opinion only.

Sohel
May 12, 2011, 12:39 AM
Dear Alchemist,

I explained the reasons behind my acceptance of the SC's decision in my post and my support of BAL isn't one of them.

The SC's job is to make a decision with regards to the constitutionality of a piece of legislation or provision on legal grounds in light of the letter and the spirit of the Constitution. I think that's exactly what it has done. The SC wasn't insensitive to the tragic political realities of our nascent democracy either, and gave us 10 years to evolve. Whether the decade ahead is enough time to remove this extra-constitutional but sadly necessary institution is debatable, but it needs to be removed. We can never walk the way we need to when we believe we can't walk without a crutch.

A part of that evolution is a powerful and truly independent EC. The current EC held local elections, without the supervision of CG, where the ruling party didn't do nearly as well as they expected for a variety of valid reasons. Irregularities in some of the polls were also quickly decisively addressed. These are good signs and I'm optimistic about the fact that the EC will only get stronger from here. Here's a dig you may find relevant to my particular POV, couldn't find the one with Dr. Kamal Hossein's comments in support of the verdict:

[বাংলা]এখন শক্তিশালী নির্বাচন কমিশনের বিকল্প নেই

সংবিধানে তত্ত্বাবধায়ক সরকারব্যবস্থা বহাল থাকবে। শুধু এর মেয়াদ সুনির্দিষ্ট করে ৯০ দিন বেঁধে দেওয়ার প্রস্তাব করা হবে। ২৩টি বৈঠক শেষে এমন নীতিগত সিদ্ধান্ত নিয়ে রেখেছিল সংবিধান সংশোধনে গঠিত বিশেষ কমিটি। কিন্তু সুপ্রিম কোর্টের রায়ে সংবিধানের ত্রয়োদশ সংশোধনী (তত্ত্বাবধায়ক সরকারব্যবস্থা) বাতিল হওয়ায় বিশেষ কমিটির হিসাব-নিকাশ পাল্টে গেছে।

এখন বিশেষজ্ঞ এবং কমিটির সদস্যদের কেউ কেউ মনে করেন, সংবিধান থেকে তত্ত্বাবধায়ক সরকার পদ্ধতি তুলে দিতে হলে এর বিকল্প হিসেবে নির্বাচন কমিশনকে শক্তিশালী করতে হবে। পাশাপাশি অন্য সব সাংবিধানিক পদে দলনিরপেক্ষ নিয়োগের বিধান অন্তর্ভুক্ত করতে হবে।[/বাংলা]

LINK (http://www.prothom-alo.com/detail/date/2011-05-12/news/153648)

As my involvement with BAL goes, allow this "spineless" person to clarify a few things. I support BAL for three primary reasons and I am not the only one in the party who would cite these reasons:

1) I deeply believe in its founding principles as exemplified by Shahid Tajudiin, may GOD rest his great soul in peace, during and after the Liberation War, including his categorical rejection of BAKSAL, its crimes and subversion of the Constitution. We are in favor of anti-totalitarian pluralism and the rule of law made, amended, or rejected by the freely elected representatives of the people, as long as those provisions violate neither the letter nor the spirit of the Constitution. We believe in, amongst other things, nomination by election, not selection, and want an MP to vote in accordance to his/her conscience, not party-line. We believe in unconditional participation in the Parliamentary process no matter how many seats we happened to have won in any given popular election.

Democracy isn't just about majority rule but also about protecting the human and civil rights of the individual against what Jefferson called "the tyranny of the majority". We have long ways to go here in Bangladesh where simply put the poorer you are, the less rights you can exercise no matter what's being offered on paper. Add the unfair and unjust lack of social and economic opportunity to that, and we have an overwhelming majority of our people getting the proverbial shaft by a small, heedless, corrupt, morally bankrupt and increasingly half-educated minority in power.

In that light, the power to vote is the only power our people have and that power alone is the beacon of hope that makes them line up and vote with over 95% turnout.

Even when I disagree on 10 out of 10 things with my party, they will still get my vote because I believe in those founding principles and see myself as someone who must do the very best I can to reestablish them, even when there is little to no chance of seeing what I dream of in my lifetime. That's why I've come back after living most of my life in the US, and being as American as I'm proud to be, that's why I'll gladly give up my US citizenship as required before I run for office in 5 years after a decade of community and social activism amongst the marginalized majority of my Dhaka. Not voting isn't an option for me because I refuse to piss on those who paid the highest price so that I have that right.

I'm a deeply religious person and believe that eternal peace can only be found in the hereafter, and my job here is to do the right thing as an expression of my total and willful submission to GOD, and of my endeavor to adhere to the sacred covenant between GOD and man.

2) My absolute refusal to be associated in any way, shape or form with a BNP founded by a Martial Law Dictator/subverter of the Constitution and the Spirit of 1971/restorer of Pakistani sensibilities in power, packed with Al-Shams Razakars from Muslim League and their self-loathing children, specially when they're in bed with their war criminal buddies from 1971, the Al-Badr Razakars of Jamaat-e-Islami and their children. BJP is BNP 2.0, and irrespective of its current factions is a party of thieves and murders who among other people, murdered my father, may GOD rest his soul in peace. One-man smaller parties don't interest me.

3) I'm a realist who's painfully aware of the fact that we have no real alternative BAL and BNP in Bangladesh and REAL positive change is not an event but a slow, often frustrating process that's initiated from within. I am the type of person who is more interested in addressing "what can be done under real and unfortunate circumstances" rather than endlessly critiquing "what is wrong" without offering a clear, realistic, achievable, real-world solutions, and without having the patience to be a part of that good work in progress even when we don't see the results in our lifetime.

There is no alternative to electoral democracy in light of our political history since the founding of the Pala (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pala_Empire) era through free and fair Janapada election of King Gopala (v) in 750AD. Our people have never accepted dictatorships and have always made the highest sacrifice in their victorious battles.

With the exception of a small and I'm sad to say moronic and emotionally disturbed minority within the Bangladeshi petit-bourgeoisie, Bangladeshis know that the idea of a 'benevolent dictatorship", either authoritarian or totalitarian, is an oxymoron because "absolute power corrupts absolutely". With the electoral system, there is at least the real possibility that you'd be thrown out of office when you term comes to an end.

Moreover, our voters have become increasingly more sophisticated with each election and I'm sure this positive trend will inevitably bring about better days for our democracy.

The way to strengthen a nascent, weak and often mitigated democracy is the patient cultivation of real democratic reforms so that a healthy democratic culture may blossom eventually, NOT throwing the baby out with the bathwater. I see myself as a part of the reform from within the process, and thank GOD, I'm not alone in my party.

Peace & GOD bless~

Sohel

Zunaid
May 12, 2011, 01:46 AM
We are in a chicken and an egg scenario. Political corruption is so endemic that it is difficult to preserve sanctity of any one institution. While the CG system did help in reducing much of the vote shenanigans, the law as it calls for the most recently retired CJ to be the CT made for some very nasty meddling by both AL and BNP meddling in appointing people to the SC and in deciding who becomes the CJ. So you have had superseded promotions and raising of retirement ages of SC justices, just to ensure their man is poised to become the CT. Timing.

In the past, the emasculated and politically biased EC could not be trusted either. I am not in Bangladesh so cannot attest to how independent the EC is and whether they actually have been give judicial teeth to ensure a free and fair election. Or the ruling party is hell bent on emasculating them too like they did with the Anti-Corruption Bureau.

But we need more than an unbiased EC. What we need also is to prevent the power of incumbency - where you launch your ministers and use your being in power to take unfair advantage during the campaigning. That is where the CTG system was useful.

BTW - can someone explain what were the unconstitutional aspects of the CTG amendment? I had been busy and not had the chance to read the ruling in detail.

Edit: PS: Sohel bro, we have to do something about the spine of yours. :)

Sohel
May 12, 2011, 02:34 AM
The SC verdict was as follows:

The constitutional (13th Amendment Act, 1996) Act is prospectively declared void and ultra vires to the constitution

The 1996 amendment gives an unelected government, the CG in this case, the type of administrative powers only reserved for duly elected representatives of people, albeit for an interim period. That makes it unconstitutional because the only government recognized in our Constitution is a government duly elected by the people, no matter how long the term. The CG, even as an interim government, must be elected in order for any amendment creating the institution to be in line with the letter and the spirit of the Constitution.

That being said, the SC has allowed a 10 year "grace period" to strengthen the EC and create a healthy political culture while the Parliament takes measures to prevent politicization of the CG and abuse of CG's power. The SC has done so in recognition of our political reality.

Since the CG has got to go, our Parliament will be encouraged, almost to accelerate the development of an more independent EC and a Parliamentary culture of participation while plugging some of the loopholes within the existing CG system. We must not forget how BNP's CG and EC before 1/11 created 13 million ghost voters in their failed attempt to rig the elections.

Alchemist
May 12, 2011, 02:34 AM
Dear Sohel Bhai

Thank you for this wonderful post. I’ve always enjoyed your insightful posts and may I say, the above one (post 12) is one of the very bests I’ve read in BC. Not many people can get close to the ‘enlightened state of awareness’ in their lifetime, but I can see the signs of an enlightened soul in your writing.

Personally, I’ve always respected the philosophies of Tajuddin Ahmed and Maulana Vasani (although their path differed after independence) and for their lifelong struggle for a democratic, independent welfare state. With my limited insight, I see no signs of Shahid Tajuddin’s views in the current AL party as the present leadership is just a pack of wolves and have no morality. It’s good know that people like you are still around.

On this occasion, may I share a personal story of mine. During the summer (May-June) of 2002, I was part of a mission to walk from Banglabandha (Tetulia) to Teknaf (Shah Pari Dip) while creating public awareness against acid violence among general masses. It was a completely volunteered effort (self funded), which took me and one of my friend 28 days to complete the walk (nearly 1300 KM’s and not using any kind of vehicles once). This walk made some profound changes inside me, made me fiercely patriotic and a seeker of spiritual enlightenment.

At the end, I would still hold on to my opinion on CG and Dr. Yunus (regarding SC’s decisions), which is different than yours. Also, as a footnote, I’ve never supported a political party in Bangladesh in my life (forget active membership) and can’t see it happening in the near future. I’m with any kind of non-political social activities that improve the lives of the ‘not so privileged’ people in Bangladesh. But, I fully respect the mission you’re on. May Allah help you.

Salam.

Iftekhar

Sohel
May 12, 2011, 03:06 AM
Thank you for your kind words Iftekhar. Some of the BAL leaders who are "different". I'm listing a few here:

1) Matia Chaudhury

2) Suranjit Sengupta

3) AMA Muhith

4) Saber Hossain Chaudhury

5) Mahmudur Rahman Manna

6) AK Khandakar

7) Dr. Dipu Moni

8) Tanzim Ahmad Sohel Taj

9) Sayeed Khokon


SADLY, some of the folks in my list have significantly lessen their stature in my eyes because of their participation in the campaign against Dr. Md Yunus. Such mean-spirited and damaging nastiness is integral to the always complex human character -- especially in an unhealthy political culture where one must prioritize a genuine cause and has to sell-out in order to get that work done -- and can be overlooked eventually once we demonstrate the ability to learn from those mistakes, and put forth the effort to rectify them through sincere expiation.


I'm happy to say, others have stood their ground.

Dr. Yunus deserves the best and those going after him have had their true colors exposed. Another good case of spitting at the sky to have it land on your face, and tarnishing the nation's image in the process. The SC however, upheld a simple decision within the narrow technicality, namely the retirement age provision, it had to work with. So although I'm completely opposed to "Yunusing" and believe such actions need to brought to justice -- perhaps under slander and unequal treatment under the law provisions -- I accept the SC's decision.

Maolana Bhasani, may GOD rest his soul in peace, was extremely big in my family also until the moment he publicly congratulated Mushtaq and his killers a day after Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was murdered with his entire family and others. That kind of dance on the fresh corpses of women and children is unacceptable and unforgivable in my book also. An extrajudicial murder during peacetime doesn't do anything other than to contribute and add to the initial lawlessness inspiring it. That being said, he'll always be my hero for everything he did before that moment, just as Sheikh Mujibur Rahman would be until BAKSAL initiated the process of subversion and some of the killings and nepotism before that.

Last but not least, it is our party's failure not to attract social and community activists like you. It is our and the opposition party's tragedy to attract opportunistic loafers and/or petty criminals and tyrants instead, but some of us are committed to change all that. Shonar Bangla won't be built in a day or by a single party, but it won't take as long as we fear to put us on that path, with all of the obstacles along the way, InshAllah.

mac
May 13, 2011, 01:04 AM
ow CG for Caretaker Govt! CGpa system hole valo hoto.

chase
May 13, 2011, 03:00 AM
@Sohel,
I am not sure of the rest of the people on your list, but definitely I am amazed to see Suranjit and Saber Hossain there. After all these two are well known for their famous characters, corruption and in the eyes of most of the BD people these 2 are no different than the 99% culprit, average Bangladeshi politicians.

However, its good to read your comments and the way you think and express yourself is really charming. I wish and pray other members of your party as well as all political parties were thinking the way you did. Like the famous saying Rome was not built in a day and certainly we cannot build the nation in a day for which our ancestors shed blood in 1971. Combined effort is required from both Government and oppositions to take our ancestor's dream to the right direction and hence when I see the absence of young people with good morale in the mainstream politics, my heart only sinks in sorrow.

I really hope this will change in the future.

Alien
May 15, 2011, 09:18 AM
Of course it was illigal, desher unnoti hoile nishchoi kharap hobe. Whats next? Freedom fighters fought an illegal war? Dhur BAL!

Alchemist
May 16, 2011, 07:39 PM
@Sohel,
I am not sure of the rest of the people on your list, but definitely I am amazed to see Suranjit and Saber Hossain there. After all these two are well known for their famous characters, corruption and in the eyes of most of the BD people these 2 are no different than the 99% culprit, average Bangladeshi politicians.

However, its good to read your comments and the way you think and express yourself is really charming. I wish and pray other members of your party as well as all political parties were thinking the way you did. Like the famous saying Rome was not built in a day and certainly we cannot build the nation in a day for which our ancestors shed blood in 1971. Combined effort is required from both Government and oppositions to take our ancestor's dream to the right direction and hence when I see the absence of young people with good morale in the mainstream politics, my heart only sinks in sorrow.

I really hope this will change in the future.

Nicely written Chase.

Unless our society goes for a REAL education/knowledge revolution, it would be impossible to defeat these evil politicians and their partners.

Education is the backbone of a nation, I truely believe that.