Opposition must see fit to join JS session | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, September 05, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, September 05, 2012


Opposition must see fit to join JS session

Pressing issues demand their presence

In a way are not surprised but certainly saddened that the opposition appears to be persisting in the belief that its joining the parliament would not bring itself or the nation any benefit. The chief whip of the opposition Joynal Abedin Faruk reportedly even went to the extent of suggesting that going to parliament would be a waste of time. Although the party's considered position is still awaited, the chief whip's initial remark is somewhat concerning.
He demands that the opposition be first assured by the government of holding the next Jatiya Sangsad (JS) election under a non-partisan neutral caretaker government before it could consider joining the parliament. Setting this precondition persistently to joining the parliament ignores some new elements into exchanges of views at informal levels taking place on CTG issue. This clearly lacks any sense of timing, we have to say on the part of the opposition.
In the main, parliament is the indispensable platform to focus on and resolve constitutional issues, particularly the contentious one over holding the election under party government vs non-partisan arrangement. Since this involves bipartisan understanding and agreement it will take both sides to ink a deal.
Leave aside this major concern, issues like resumption of talks on World Bank's loan for Padma bridge, promulgation of the 'Grameen Bank Ordinance (Amendment) 2012,' the High Court's ruling on the Speaker, the Sonali Bank scam have caused furore in the public sphere. Does the opposition have no obligation to voice their concerns over these issues and register their inputs as elected representatives of their own constituencies in the House of the people? Can they remain street-bound and give the ruling party a walkover as such issues or let these pass by them?
Records say, far from discharging their responsibility, opposition members have remained outside the JS for an inordinately long period of time. How can they justify their absence from JS sessions for 262 days out of 317 business days since the 9th JS began? This amounts to waste of parliament's money and energy.
It is high time the opposition had a qualitative, pro-people rethink on their position of fruitless boycott of parliament. Reasons are far too compelling for the opposition to join the current session of parliament. Thus, we urge it to return to parliament immediately and make its presence felt when the need for it is the greatest.

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