Update February 11, 2017

Dhaka 5-35 am, 17-April, 2021

Akbar Ali Khan proposes referrendum to form poll-time government

Mirajul Moin Joy

11 February 2017, Nirapad News: Former caretaker government adviser Akbar Ali Khan on Saturday proposed a referendum on formation of the poll-time government for holding free, fair, credible and inclusive general election next time.

Dwelling on the just-appointed election commission as recommended by the president-assigned search committee, the outspoken civil society leader expressed his views that such a committee has never been successful in picking competent, non-partisan and right persons for the constitutional positions.

“It’s better not to choose as election commissioners the ones who have involvement with the political parties or who lack qualifications and experience in this regard,” he observed at a discussion in FDC auditorium in Dhaka, according to a news release issued by Debate for Democracy.

Akbar Khan said it is high time to start thinking about the election-time government, in view of the political scenario.

After the election-time caretaker government system was abolished through 15th amendment in 2011, the country’s all opposition parties boycotted the 2014 general elections.

“It’s not something which should be dealt with, only by the political parties, it’s a matter of concern for the people of the country. A referrendum could be held to determine the form of government that would oversee the elections,” he was quoted to have told the inaugural session of shadow parliament organised by Debate for Democracy.

In support of his proposal, Akbar Ali Khan said the Supreme Court’s verdict that caretaker government could be retained for two more terms should be taken into account in formation of the polls-time government.

He also regretted that “we more often than not compare our electoral system with those in other countries but do not follow the best practices they have.”

The former cabinet secretary and chairman of now-defunct Regulatory Reforms Commission also underlined the importance of changing the current political culture.

“The intolerance and hostile debates between the political parties are not conducive to flourishing of democracy in the country,” he said.

Addressing the function, entrepreneur MA Sabur said the success of the next election commission would depend on the willingness of the government to allow free and fair elections. He expressed hope that the election commission would try to carry out the responsibility sincerely.

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