Saturday, June 11, 2011

Caretaker Government Shuldn't Go : Barrister Rafiqul Haque

Barrister Rafiqul Haque has said the caretaker government system should not go from Bangladesh as fair elections are not possible without it. "But the system needs to be overhauled," he told journalists while emerging from a seminar in the city o Saturday. The eminent jurist, however, criticised BNP for calling a countrywide daylong shutdown for Sunday. The opposition has called the lockdown in protest against the government move to scrap the caretaker government system. It has also threatened not to take part in the next general election if the system is scrapped. "Someone threw stones in the beehive and chaos started," Haque said, "But nobody knows whether there are bees in it (beehive)." He said they had not yet got the full text of the Supreme Court verdict on the 13 th amendment to the constitution and two and a half years were still left for the next national election to be held. Haque said prime minister Sheikh Hasina had said she would strictly abide by the Supreme Court verdict, which also stipulated that the next two polls could be held under non-party governments. The Supreme Court on May 10 repealed the 13 th amendment to the constitution that had introduced the caretaker government in 1996. But the court said the next two general elections could be held under unelected governments. The apex court gave parliament the liberty to decide the issue. "Let the two elections be held in line with the court verdict. Then we would get much time to take decision of the next elections," said Haque, who fought for both Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia in a number of graft cases against them. He earlier put forward proposals for overhauling the system while giving opinions as amicus curiae at the Appellate Division during hearing on the 13 th amendment. He suggested that 10 members of parliament (MPs) should be nominated just before the tenure of a parliament ends to form a government for an interim period. Of them, one will be made the chief advisor to the interim government. A panel of three former chief justices will elect the chief advisor and the general election be held over four days instead of one day, he said. "It becomes difficult to tackle the law and order situation if the national election is held in one day." "For this, the people of a particular area should be barred from moving from their own neighbourhoods to another. And the votes should be counted centrally on the last day," he proposed.