A reform in politics is needed to establish rule of law in the country and an exploitation free society, speakers at a roundtable said yesterday.
They said politics have become polluted and there is no alternative to bringing change to the current political culture.
They made the remarks at a roundtable on “Reformation of Bangladesh’s Politics and Citizens’ Thoughts”, organised by Shushasoner Jonno Nagorik (Shujan) at Brac Centre Inn.
M Hafizuddin Khan, former adviser to a caretaker government, expressed his frustration over political parties not raising their voice regarding irregularities in the immediate past national election.
“It has been proven that free, fair polls are not possible under any political party. We need to find out alternative options, such as caretaker government, to hold the election,” he said.
Former Election Commissioner M Sakhawat Hossain said, “There is no alternative to decentralisation of power.” Expressing concerns over the shrinking of liberal democratic process around the world, he said ultra-rightist views are spreading and it can rise in Bangladesh too.
Rights activist Hamida Hossain said people are living in such pressure that they cannot even speak about rights violations committed against them.
Syeda Rizwana Hasan, chief executive of Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association, said a political party after forming the government with two-third or three-fourth majority begins to ignore people, though the constitution states that people are the source of all power.
She alleged that the government is using law enforcement agencies to enforce repressive laws on people.
Zonayed Saki, coordinator of Ganasamhati Andolon, said a reform is must to give parties scope to take part in politics.
Pointing out corruption in government sectors, Abdullah Al Kafi Ratan, a leader of Communist Party of Bangladesh, said, “Had 350 MPs of the parliament been free from corruption, no one else would dare to commit it.”
Badiul Alam Majumdar, secretary of Shujan, alleged that the ruling system is almost broken and if it continues the country will turn into a failed state. Sujan will work to create public opinion on political reform, he said.
At the roundtable, the civil rights organisation highlighted 18 sectors including political and election culture, parliamentary system, judiciary and administration, where reforms are needed.