JSD pledges to introduce upper chamber of House | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 07, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:11 AM, December 07, 2018

JSD pledges to introduce upper chamber of House

Jatiya Oikyafront component Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal yesterday said they will bring sweeping reforms to the country's existing politics if voted to power, introducing a 200-seat upper chamber of the parliament.

The upper chamber will comprise representatives of workers and professional bodies, women and ethnic minority groups, and non-resident Bangladeshis, it said while declaring its election manifesto.

A polls-time government will be formed comprising members of the upper chamber, it further said.

The manifesto, featuring 44 clauses and sub-clauses, was unveiled at a press conference at the capital's Jatiya Press Club yesterday.

JSD said they will form a central federal government based on a national consensus with the president as head of the state. The prime minister will assume top posts of the government and the executive branch.

The party will bring balance between president's and PM's power, and fix their tenures to a maximum of two terms.

JSD President ASM Abdur Rob said the manifesto was of his party's, and that they declared it for other political parties' consideration. He hoped some points of it would be considered in the Oikyafront manifesto.

“Each party has its own declaration and activities… It is possible to meet people's expectation through thoughts, wisdom and experience as well as through long-term political struggle and movement,” he said.

According to the manifesto, the country will be divided into nine provincial governments and councils. Ethnic minority groups will be recognised constitutionally while the upazila system will be an “elected and autonomous local government system.”

There will be separate governance in metropolitan areas. Voting rights of expatriate Bangladeshis will be ensured and a “separate, independent and full-fledged” Election Commission will be formed, it says.

Referendum and “recall” system for elected candidates will be initiated, an independent judiciary will be ensured and Supreme Judicial Council will be formed.

Moreover, a “Constitutional Court” will be formed to resolve disputes over the constitution while High Courts will be founded in each province, the manifesto reads.

A “Constitutional Commission” will be formed to recruit nonpartisan, neutral, honest and competent individuals in important constitutional and statutory posts. An Ombudsman will be recruited and an “effective” anti-corruption law will be formulated.

Reforms will be brought in the police force, and initiatives will be taken to stop extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances, the party pledged, adding that the Digital Security Act will be repealed, and press freedom and freedom of expression will be ensured, as well as equal rights for women.

A national security council will be formed while sub-regional cooperation alliances will be created for speeding up economic activities, it says.

JSD General Secretary Abdul Malek Ratan read out the manifesto.

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