BNP places 27-point state reform plan
If the BNP is voted to power, it will implement reforms so that no prime minister or president can serve more than two back-to-back terms, the party has said while unveiling its set of state restructure plans.
The BNP in its 27-point outline, "The structural reforms of the state", also said it would ensure a balance of power between the PM and president.
The outline included the establishment of an inclusive and egalitarian "rainbow nation" based on nationalism and amalgamation of diverse views and paths.
"To achieve this, a new forward-looking 'social contract' is a must through continuous dialogue, exchange of views and mutual understanding. A National Reconciliation Commission shall be formed in this regard," KhandakerMosharraf Hossain, party's standing committee member, said during a press conference at a city hotel yesterday.
BNP acting chairman Tarique Rahman made the introductory speech on the reforms via videoconference and Mosharraf unveiled the reforms in details afterwards.
The BNP said the current authoritarian government has shattered the structure of the state.
"The state has to be repaired and rebuilt. With the aim of returning the ownership of the country to its people, a 'public-welfare government of national consensus' will be established with all political parties taking part in the ongoing movement after winning a free, fair, credible and participatory election."
It said the national government would implement the 27 reforms in the executive, judiciary, and legislative branches.
The BNP said "to restore democracy and right to vote" and give democratic process a permanent, constitutional and institutional shape, a "polls-time non-partisan caretaker government system" would be introduced.
It said parliament would be bicameral and the upper house would be comprised of eminent educationists, professionals, political scientists, sociologists and people with administrative experience.
The party proposed examining an amendment to Article 70 of the constitution so that lawmakers could express their opinions independently.
On the Election Commission and voting, it said the "Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners' Appointment Act- 2022" would be amended and voting would be on paper ballots only.
It said a "judicial commission" would be formed to reform the existing judicial system and a separate secretariat would be created under the Supreme Court.
The BNP proposed an "administrative reforms commission" to build a service-oriented public and police administration imbued with patriotism.
It said a "media commission" would be created with former Supreme Court judge, media professionals and experienced and acceptable media personalities for comprehensive reforms of the media.
"The ICT Act- 2006 will be amended and Digital Security Act- 2018 will be repealed. Trials of all cases of murder and torture of journalists, including sensational Sagar-Runi murder case, will be ensured."
The party proposed bringing out a white paper on money laundering and corruption that took place over the last decade and a half. People responsible would be identified and brought to book, it said.
"Adequate administrative and legal measures will be taken to bring back the laundered money."
The party said to ensure rule of law, the culture of enforced disappearances, murders, extrajudicial killings, and physical and mental torture would be brought to an end.
"Trials of all the people directly or indirectly responsible for extrajudicial killings, indiscriminate killings in the name of crossfire, enforced disappearances, murders, abductions, rapes, physical torture and all cruel and inhuman crimes committed over more than a decade, shall be ensured."
The BNP proposed forming an "economic reforms commission" to ensure economic justice and to eliminate disparity between the poor and the rich.
The party in its reform proposal said unemployed and uneducated youth would be given unemployment allowance for up to a year or until they get jobs.
It said it would consider increasing the age limit for getting government jobs.
Khandaker Mosharraf said the outline was prepared in line with the "19-point" of party founder Ziaur Rahman and BNP's "Vision- 2030". Most of the proposals were of "Vision 2030", which BNP chief Khaleda Zia unveiled in 2016.
Jamaat-e-Islami, a key component of BNP-led 20-party alliance, and Communist Party of Bangladesh were not invited to yesterday's programme.
"We have invited only the political parties with which we had talks on state reform proposals," BNP leader Zahir Uddin Swapan told The Daily Star.
Party sources said the reform proposals came to the fore when the BNP started holding talks with its like-minded political parties to wage a simultaneous movement.
It got momentum after Tarique asked for the formation of a national government after election. Following this concept, the BNP talked to its like-minded parties to make the outline that was revealed yesterday.
Different political parties, various professionals and senior leaders of the party were present in the programme. There was no question answer session in the programme.