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23 Jan 2018   02:51:28 AM   Tuesday BdST A- A A+ Print this E-mail this

Some see silver lining in political cloud

Moslem Uddin Ahmed
uns24.com

Some in the crowd of many who rack their brains over Bangladesh`s muddled-up political situation now see a silver lining in the cloud the skies are overcast with. A delayed--`election-time government`--in prime minister`s address to the nation carries that silhouette of optimism.

Premier Sheikh Hasina`s pronouncement of the term election-time government in her speech at a crucial juncture--completion of her four years in office in a much-contended consecutive second term and stepping in the election year--bears some substance. It can be interpreted--and, albeit, a few analysts are doing so--as a subtle shift from many of her party statlwarts` stance that the next election will be held under the ruling government of Sheikh Hasina, as provided for in the currently amended constitution.

Of course she reiterated that party stance, that the polls would be held `under provision of the constitution`. This conditional part signifies that she would continue as head of government of the election time and the voting would take place three months before the current parliament runs its five-year tenure and stanfs dissolved, as per dictate of the amended constitutional provision.

The emphasis on constitutionality of the poll-time regime in this latter part may appear to be a bargain chip, if such inference is not outright wrong.

And it`s here the other major stakeholder in the country`s friction-fraught power politics, that is, BNP, is hammering hard to bring out the crux. ``The prime minister should make it clear what she is actually after,`` BNP secretary-general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir insists in his speeches ever since, so do others in the party now in the wilderness since the turmoil over the last polls on January 5, 2014 that they had boycotted amid a violent political standoff.

Anyway, it goes without saying that the PM`s latest veiled utterance on poll-time regime and the modality of its function takes in an added significance if it is juxtaposed with her previous oft-quoted remark at her Awami League party council that `No more do I want any questionable election.`

On the other side of the political divide, BNP has budged from its stance on election under `caretaker government` and coined a softer terminology, `election-facilitating government`, evidently as a sort of compromise formula.

They formulated this alternative interim regime as the ruling party kept arguing that the highest court has declared caretaker government unconstitutional and parliament has rescinded the system of non-partisan government and hence it`s beyond the scope of resurrection.

Of late, AL leaders, on occasion, make a dig at the BNP that they failed to give any format of election-facilitating government they preach. BNP leaders, in their reply in such aerial dialogue say they will certainly spell out the structure at an opportune moment. Now they say it will come out `soon`.

All who take some interest in Bangladesh politics, including those in outer world, are on tenterhooks as to what BNP finally lets out of its bag and how the ruling AL responds.

(To be continued)

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