Electoral politics, peaceful solutions and neutral civil society



Dr. Mahfuz Parvez, Associate Editor, Barta24.com
Electoral politics, peaceful solutions and neutral civil society

Electoral politics, peaceful solutions and neutral civil society

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A very disappointing feature of Bangladesh's politics, especially the upcoming national elections, which has been tense and conflict-friendly for several months, is that representatives of civil society are unable to work for peace and reconciliation beyond political approval or party identification. Although in theory, a peaceful solution requires civil society to adopt a neutral perspective, in practice it is elusive. Almost everyone is speaking with specific goals, objectives and vision in mind. Although party politics prevails in this, 'overall public interest' is not given due importance. As a result, along with the fear of conflict, the polarization of civil society, civil society, elites and intellectuals is increasing, which in turn is acting as a catalyst for increasing division, distance and tension between the people.

Due to the existing situation, there is nothing left as a 'buffer zone' or 'neutral zone' in Bangladesh at present. Just hearing the names of individuals, speakers, groups and newspapers, we can close our eyes and say 'which side are they on'? Unbiased statements, holistic consideration, and genuine public interest behavior cannot be expected from biased parties. So no one is able to show the light of hope in the political uncertainty of Bangladesh, this is the harsh reality.

As various political parties have mobilized civil society and intellectuals on their behalf, the international community and development partners are doing the same. As a result, the civil society organizations of Bangladesh are not able to rise above their narrow party identity and group interests and show the way out to the people who are in trouble due to the fear of conflict. Also missing is someone who can be proactive in providing peaceful solutions, extend a hand of compassion to all and help promote peace and stability.

It is a matter of particular misfortune that in reality there is no such acceptable person. Rather, these civil society organizations are helping to spread political violence and poison of hatred. It is accompanied by political hypocrisy and shameless brokering. Therefore, there is no way of release ahead for now. As a result, no one knows where the latent conflict ends.

History shows that only neutral leadership and dialogue between civil society and political representatives can thaw relations. However, in the current reality, there is no trace of mutual trust between the leadership. That's why an alternative is needed. A neutral civil society could be the right alternative. Positive change was possible through their initiative. There was a possibility of peace and reconciliation. But that hope is gradually fading.

Meanwhile, the schedule of national elections in November and voting in January, it is known about the 12th national parliament elections. At the same time, there is a deadlock around the elections. As there is no agreement and consensus among the parties, the voice of civil society is also not raised. A fragmented civil society is unable to organize the people to give them a voice and to smooth the path to democracy through constitutional continuity.

If there is no true democracy in a promising country like Bangladesh, if the parliament is not representative of the majority of people - then public interest and development cannot be ensured. That is why fair election process and democratic process should continue in the country by resolving all disputes. People should be allowed to choose their leadership. Bangladesh cannot be pushed into a long deadlock under any circumstances to realize not only the constitution, but also the nation's dream. The entire country and nation cannot be immersed in the mire of small party political differences.

Those who want to be in the leadership for people-friendly-inclusive development of a democratic and just society must first look at the interests of the country and listen to the people. At the same time, we must be wary of the danger of democratic failure and lack of representative government, and the path to building a just society must also be kept smooth.

If these tasks are neglected, the political crisis will intensify as well as development will be interrupted, poverty will increase, people's economic and social life will fall into a more fragile state. It will also be impossible to protect the poor people. The burden of debt will increase, from which new political and social crises will also be created. Needless to say, the market and inflation cannot be controlled long before the elections. Corruption has increased in society manifold and also in various sectors. These are special omens.

Therefore, social stability and balanced development require a continuous transition to democracy. And that will be possible by ensuring consensus, accountability and transparency in the election system. The conflicting electoral politics of the country must therefore come to a compromise on the way to a peaceful solution. And neutral civil society must stand tall to stop political bickering and create favorable conditions for democracy and elections.

   

Complaining is the politics of BNP: Obaidul Quader



Staff Correspondent, Barta24.com
Photo: Barta24.com

Photo: Barta24.com

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General Secretary of Awami League and Minister of Road Transport and Bridges Obaidul Quader said, 'Complaining is their (BNP) politics. We don't do excessive politics. Politics will be dealt with.

He said these things in a view exchange meeting with journalists at Dagonbhuiyan in Feni on the way to his home in Noakhali on Monday (February 26) afternoon.

Obaidul Quader said, BNP will have to pay for the failure of the movement and not coming to the elections for a long time. It is surprising to me that Mirza Fakhrul came out of jail and went to complain with sticks on the day the US delegation arrived. But he got bail due to illness.

He said that the general election was held this time through many difficulties. There were various domestic and foreign conspiracies to foil the election. Bangabandhu's daughter Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina did not fear anyone. She faced the plot with courage and determination. She has taken herself to unique heights as the longest-serving female Prime Minister in the world.

Obaidul Quader said that people could not even imagine the unprecedented development in this region like the whole country. People have welcomed this development. Feni's name will come to the fore in the development that has taken place in Bangladesh during this government, especially the development that has taken place in the road sector. Six lane flyover at Feni is being constructed. There is no 6-lane flyover outside Dhaka. I speak the truth. Yesterday was Shab-e-barat. I have not seen a good person like Sheikh Hasina since ‘75. There are so many good people in politics. That is why this government has remained in power for so long. She treats people well, and people love him.

Highlighting the party's decision in the upcoming upazila elections, the general secretary of Awami League said, this time we are not nominating anyone from the party in the upazila elections. Boat symbols will not be given either. Everything will be open. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina wants to experience that everything is open.

Obaidul Quader said, I have been made general secretary of Awami League three times. Which no one else could do after independence. It is also rare for a man to stay as a minister for 18 years. I do not know if this precedent can be found anywhere else. Bangabandhu's daughter trusts me and is satisfied with my work, I have achieved that rare fortune.

The minister said that the Dhaka-Chattagram highway will be upgraded to six lanes. There will be two service lanes on both sides of it. The government is considering the development of an elevated expressway in the near future.

District Awami League general secretary Nizam Uddin Hazari MP of Feni-2 Constituency, Deputy Commissioner Moshammat Shahina Akhtar, Chairman of Daganbhoona Upazila Parishad Didarul Kabir Ratan and leaders of district and upazila Awami League and its affiliates were present. 

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Mirza Abbas granted bail, no bar to release



Staff Correspondent, Barta24.com, Dhaka
Photo: Collected

Photo: Collected

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A court has granted bail to BNP Standing Committee member Mirza Abbas in the case of Dhaka Railway Police. As he has been granted bail in all 11 cases related to the October 28 mass rally, there is no more bar to his release from prison.

On Monday (February 19), Dhaka's Chief Judicial Magistrate Julhas Uddin's court granted the bail.

Earlier, BNP Standing Committee member Mirza Abbas was granted bail in a case lodged at the capital's Ramna police station in connection with the attack on the Chief Justice's residence on Sunday (February 18).

After October 28, six cases were filed against Mirza Abbas in Paltan police station of the capital. And four cases were registered in Ramna police station. A case was filed with Dhaka Railway Police Station.

The detective police arrested Mirza Abbas from Shahid Bagh in Dhaka on the night of October 31. He has been in prison ever since.

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No bar to release Fakhrul, Khasru from jail



Special Correspondent, Barta24.com
Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir and Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury

Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir and Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury

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A Dhaka court has granted bail to BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir and its Standing Committee Member Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury in a case filed for attacking Chief Justice's residence. There is no bar to their release from jail as they were granted bail in all the 11 cases filed over the October 28 rally.

Dhaka Metropolitan Sessions Judge's Court Acting Judge Faisal Atiq Bin Kader granted the bail on Wednesday.

Additional Public Prosecutor Taposh Kumar Paul confirmed the bail information.

Lawyer Masud Ahmed Talukder said that the case was an obstacle to the release of Mirza Fakhrul and Amir Khasru. There is no bar to their release as now they are granted bail. Advocate Zainul Abedin appeared for the accused. Advocate Asaduzzaman, Barrister Mahbub Uddin Khokon and Barrister Masud Ahmed Talukder also stood for bail in the case.

They prayed for bail considering the illness, age and social status of the accused. Dhaka Metropolitan Public Prosecutor Abdullah Abu opposed the bail on behalf of the state.

After hearing both sides, the court granted them bail on a bond of Tk 5,000.

There are allegations that BNP activists and supporters carried out sabotage activities at the Chief Justice's residence during the party's grand rally on October 28, 2023. A case was filed with Ramna Police Station against 59 BNP leaders and activists, including Mirza Fakhrul, over the incident. On October 29, Mirza Fakhrul was arrested from his Gulshan-2 residence. He has been in jail since then.

Detective Branch (DB) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police arrested Amir Khasru from his Gulshan residence around 1:45am on November 2. The next day, on November 3, the court granted a six-day remand. He was sent to jail on November 9 after remand.

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Awami League nominates candidates for reserved women seats



Staff Correspondent, Barta24.com
Obaidul Quader briefs about the AL nominations for reserved seats in JS

Obaidul Quader briefs about the AL nominations for reserved seats in JS

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Awami League has announced the names of nomination seekers for the reserved women seats in the 12th Jatiya Sangsad.

Awami League General Secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader announced the names on Wednesday afternoon.

The candidates are: Tarana Halim (Tangail), Sanjida Khanam (Dhaka), Nazma Akter, Farida Yasmin (Narsingdi), Monnujan Sufian (Khulna), Rokia Sultana, Naznin Nahar, Ashika Sulkana, Draupadi Devi (Thakurgaon), Kuheli Kuddus (Natore), Shammi Ahmed (Barisal), Ashika Sultana (Nilphamari), Runi Reza, Meher Afroz Chumki (Gazipur), Hasina Bari, Nazma Akhter, Dr Rokeya Sultana (Joypurhat) and Jebin Mahmud (Chapainawabganj).

Awami League will get 48 seats (including 10 for independents) out of 50 reserved seats in the 12th Parliament. Against these 48 seats, 1549 women collected and submitted Awami League nomination forms. The party earned Tk 7 crore 74 lac 5 thousand by selling nomination forms worth Tk 50,000 each. Nomination forms were sold from the party's central office on Bangabandhu Avenue from February 6 to 8.

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