12:00 AM, November 25, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, November 25, 2012

Editorial

Why wait for January?

BNP should join JS now

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After restoration of democracy in early 1991, it was hoped that with the Jatiya Sangsad functioning, democracy will gain from strength to strength in the coming years. Unfortunately, the last two decades were marked by a largely dysfunctional JS only due to its endless boycott by the opposition of the time on one excuse or another. They have thus made JS boycott into a culture.
The current opposition in the Jatiyo Sangsad, JS, is also following the same practice and has remained absent from the ninth parliament for the longest period so far. They attended its sessions for a very short while only when it became necessary to save their seats to meet the provision enshrined in Section 67 clause 1 b) of the Constitution, which says that (1) A member of Parliament shall vacate his seat if he is absent from Parliament, without the leave of Parliament, for ninety consecutive sitting days."
It is a good indication that on the Armed Force's day on November 21, the leader of the opposition, Khaleda Zia, in reply to a request from the Speaker to join parliament, said that she would think it over. We would like to consider her reply in a positive note as the BNP's standing committee member Barrister Moudud Ahmed has also hinted to the media that they would join parliament in January 2013. But our question to the BNP leader is if they are really serious about returning to parliament in January next year, which is rather close by, why can't they do so now?
We repeat what we have said so many times in the past--- boycotting the parliament is in effect abdicating the trust reposed in the people's representatives by the voters. We would again reiterate our stand and advise the opposition BNP to join parliament without any more delay to get out of the boycott culture. At the same time, we would urge the ruling Awami League to engage the opposition constructively in the House and together create a congenial environment of tolerance, mutual respect for each other's opinion and thereby make the House of the people worthy of the name.

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