AL, BNP trash idea of consensus govt | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 12, 2007 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, October 12, 2007

AL, BNP trash idea of consensus govt

Khaleda terms it premature

The proposition for an agreement to form a national consensus government after election has failed to gather support as the two major political parties--Awami League (AL) and BNP--turned down the idea.
Terming the proposal for the 10-year consensus government "premature", both the parties yesterday said the next parliament will decide about future governance. They also stressed the importance of holding the parliamentary elections first.
Former president and chief of Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh (BDB) AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury spelled out on Monday the much-talked-about proposal for a government of national consensus for the next 10 years comprising all democratic and patriotic political parties that believe in common development programmes.
Detained BNP Chairperson and former prime minister Khaleda Zia brushed off the proposition yesterday while the AL presidium categorically turned it down as "premature".
Through her lawyer Khaleda said there is no constitutional crisis and such proposition is embarrassing.
The BNP chairperson, who was arrested on September 3 in a graft case and kept at a special jail set up on the Jatiya Sangsad premises, said the roadmap for the election next year is there and the task for the voter list with photographs is progressing.
"So, under the circumstances, the proposal for formation of a national consensus government is not acceptable," Khaleda said, adding, "The issue of forming this kind of government may come at a time of national crisis. But there is no constitutional crisis now."
AL Acting President Zillur Rahman said the proposal has been made too early. "It is meaningless to discuss the issue now," he said.
"His [Badruddoza] call sounds like putting the cart before the horse...Let the elections be held first and MPs be elected, then it may be given a thought," Zillur told reporters after a meeting of the party presidium.
The AL leader said an elected parliament is first required to have an elected government. "It means the elections have to be held first and then those who will win the elections will decide whether they will form a national consensus government," he added.
Senior leaders of both the AL and BNP have been saying for the last two days that there can be a consensus on some major issues. Political parties could reach a consensus to shun politics of hatred, violence and damage of public property in the name of demonstrations, they said. But forming a national consensus government comprising all political parties will not be healthy for practising democracy as there will be nobody in parliament to criticise the government's wrongdoings and such an elected government may become autocratic, they argued.
The idea of a national government had also widely been discussed in different arena a few months after the formation of the current caretaker government following declaration of the state of emergency on January 11.

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