Call for ‘constitution reform commission’
Concerned Citizen’s Group, a platform of distinguished personalities, today recommended forming a “constitution reform commission” to bring necessary changes in the country’s charter for an effective democratic system.
The proposed constitution reform commission will also work on how to bring checks and balance of power of prime minister who is now enjoying absolute power since transformation to parliamentary democracy from presidential form in 1991.
The Citizens’ Group recommended this after a roundtable titled “checks and balance of powers to achieve fuller democracy,” held at city’s Brac Centre Inn.
The Group said they will formally submit their recommendations to different political parties for their consideration.
At the same time, it will hold such discussions at divisional levels to make a cross section of people specially the young generation conscious in favour of their initiative to change the country.
“Our initiative will not die out. It might take several years—five or ten--to get result like the one of Sri Lanka where democracy has taken a good shape now after 13 years’ efforts,” ATM Shamsul Huda, former chief election commissioner and convener of the group said with high hopes of their initiative.
At the end of over two hour discussion with political scientists, media personalities, journalists, political activists, among others, the group came up with a number of recommendations including direct election of the President with a larger electoral college and entrusting him/her with more power except the power to dissolve parliament.
Former executive director, TIB, Manzoor Hasan, former caretaker government advisers--M Hafizuddin Khan and Rasheda K Chowdhury, executive director of Policy Research Institute, Ahsan H Mansur, Shujan Secretary Badiul Alam Majumder, eminent jurist Shahdeen Malik, Local government expert Tofail Ahmed were present on behalf of the group.
The group also said overlap of roles of the prime minister as head of the executive and the leader of the House and party leadership has to be abolished.
It also recommended amendment of Article 70 of the constitution to allow floor-crossing on important policy issues with exceptions.