Parties preoccupied with past, not future
Former caretaker government adviser Dr Akbar Ali Khan says the country's political parties are preoccupied with the past and do not talk about their future plans to address political, economic and global issues.
"We are about to face a big economic crisis and the political parties are not at all telling their plans to solve that crisis and what their role would be to counter the effect of globalisation," Dr Akbar said in an interview with The Daily Star.
The chairman of the Regulatory Reforms Commission said there should be public debates on the issues of politics and economy where political parties should speak about the changes they will bring in future.
The former adviser considers the local government reform as an achievement of this caretaker government. He said the government should make it the avowed policy of the political parties to implement those reforms if the date of upazila elections is shifted.
He also does not think there is any need for section 91(E) of the Representation of the People Order because, he believes, the Election Commission's power to cancel candidature is "not realistic and has some legal weaknesses".
"Political parties are not supposed to nominate undesirable persons and even if they nominate them, what is the guarantee that people will elect them?" he said. "We have to trust the people and if we do not have trust on them, we do not have trust on democracy."
Dr Akbar said the government should have made some necessary amendments in the constitution to change the political culture and sit with political parties to do that.
He suggested strengthening the constitutional bodies increasing the power of lawmakers so that they can work with more responsibility.
Dr Akbar believes better people will come to parliament if the election is held in a free, fair and neutral manner.