12:00 AM, June 13, 2014 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:53 AM, March 08, 2015

Revision of power balance needed for democracy

Revision of power balance needed for democracy

Two former caretaker govt advisers tell discussion
Staff Correspondent

Two former caretaker government advisers yesterday emphasised restructuring the balance of power between the prime minister and the president for flourishing democracy in the country.
Power must be decentralised to overcome the ongoing crisis, so the power structure should be reviewed, they told a roundtable, "Democratic Situation in Bangladesh: Some Thoughts", organised by Shushashoner Jannoy Nagorik (SHUJAN), at the capital's Jatiya Press Club.
"Power will have to be decentralised from the central government to the local government. The prime minister's power should be scaled down," said Dr Akbar Ali Khan.
Both Akbar Ali and M Hafizuddin Khan, another former adviser, agreed that it was necessary to revise the power structure of the prime minister and the president.
Currently, the president is considered as titular head of the state, and the president has to discharge duties on the advice of the prime minister.
Dr Akbar also called for proportional representation in elections to improve the situation. Bangladesh would turn into a hell, if situation did not improve, he cautioned.
Presenting the keynote paper, eminent political scientist Dr Rounaq Jahan said an evil syndicate of politicians, businesses,

miscreants and law enforcers had been created in the country's politics.
In the absence of intra-party democratic practices, the political organisations witness huge infighting, she said, citing the recent killings in Narayanganj and Feni as two examples.  
SHUJAN Executive Member Justice Kazi Ebadul Haque viewed that political parties were using the term "democracy" only to go to power, instead of protecting people's rights.
He demanded the long overdue election to the Dhaka city corporations immediately.
SHUJAN Secretary Badiual Alam Majumdar, former state minister for information Prof Abu Sayeed, and cultural personality Muhammad Jahangir, among others, also spoke.


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