POST TIME: 14 November, 2017 12:46:06 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 14 November, 2017 08:23:24 AM
BNP to push for JS dissolution
next nat’l polls

BNP to push for JS dissolution

The BNP would stress for the dissolution of Parliament before the next general elections as one of its four major demands, according to party leaders. “Our party wants the dissolution of Parliament before the next polls or holding the elections after the expiry of the term of the present Parliament. We'll place the demand along with the party’s proposal for an election-time supportive government,” a senior BNP functionary told The Independent yesterday.

The three other demands are the formation of an election-time supportive government, deployment of the Army with magistracy power and non-introduction of electronic voting machines (EVMs) during the polls.

During her speech at a party rally at Suhrawardy Udyan on Sunday, BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia focused on the three demands. Party leaders later added the demand for Parliament’s dissolution before the polls to their agenda.

The BNP chief is likely to place the proposal early next year, hinted party sources. A BNP standing committee member, however, said the party chairperson would place it before the nation at an appropriate time. According to Section 3 under Article 123 of the Constitution, “A general election of the members of Parliament shall be held- in the case of a dissolution by reason of the expiration of its term, within the period of 90 days preceding such a dissolution; and in the case of a dissolution otherwise than by reason of such expiration, within 90 days after such a dissolution.”

“A general election cannot be held by keeping another parliament alive. There is no such system anywhere in the world,” said BNP standing committee member Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain.

He accused the ruling Awami League of introducing the system whimsically by bringing an amendment to the Constitution to serve its own purpose.

Asked about the necessity of a further constitutional amendment, the former minister said it is up to the ruling party as to how they would annul the system. “No general election will be allowed by keeping another parliament alive,” he added.

Echoing Mosharraf, another BNP standing committee member, Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury, said the dissolution of Parliament before the next elections is the essence of parliamentary form of democracy. “Parliament must be dissolved before the polls... It happens everywhere in the world,” he noted.

Regarding the deployment of the Army with magistracy power, Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury explained that there are two aspects to magistracy power—one is to be empowered for holding trial and another is to be empowered to tackle emerging situations during the polls. “We want the second one for the Army to maintain law and order during the polls,” he said.

BNP joint secretary general Syed Moazzem Hossain Alal said Parliament must be dissolved before the next elections to ensure a level playing field. “The holding of polls without the dissolution of Parliament cannot be allowed because ruling party candidates will enjoy facilities as lawmakers, but their counterparts in the opposition will be deprived,” he added.