• Tuesday, July 14, 2020

AL-led govt’s latest gimmick

Discussion in 'Bangladesh Defence Forum' started by idune, Nov 13, 2013.

  1. idune

    idune ELITE MEMBER

    Dec 14, 2008
    +4 / 11,559 / -14
    United States
    AL-led govt’s latest gimmick

    THE submission of undated resignation letters to the prime minister by all ministers and state ministers of the Awami League-led government on Monday, supposedly to pave way for the formation of a ‘smaller cabinet’ to run election-time government, seems to contain a simple message for the people in general and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party-led opposition in particular — that an amicable resolution of the ongoing impasse is at the farthest back of the incumbents’ mind. According to a report published in New Age on Tuesday, most of the cabinet members handed their resignations at the beginning of the weekly cabinet meeting, ‘leaving the matter [of putting the date] to the prime minister’s decision.’ The cabinet secretary later told a news briefing that the ‘prime minister would send some resignations to the president and induct some new figures for reconstitution of her cabinet.’

    The resignation gimmick, so to speak, seems to also contain a deeper and more dangerous message — that the incumbents believe the prime minister is not bound by either the constitution or public opinion. According to Article 58 (1) (a) of the constitution, ‘the office of a Minister other than the Prime Minister’ becomes vacant’ the moment s/he hands his or resignation letter to ‘the Prime Minister for submission to the President.’

    Regardless of what date the prime minister puts in the letters, as per the said constitutional provision, all the ministers and state ministers stand relieved of their offices from Monday. Yet, the incumbents have sought to create the impression that the matter is in the hands of the prime minister, with a number of cabinet members asserting that they would continue holding their offices until their resignations were accepted by the president and gazette notifications were issued to this effect.

    It is also worth noting here that a series of recent opinion polls, commissioned by leading news dailies and conducted by reputed organisations, indicate an overwhelming popular support for the formation of a non-party government to preside over the forthcoming general elections. Suffice to say, the process set in motion Monday for an interim election-time government, led by the prime minister, runs counter to what most people wish for.

    Such a constitutionally untenable and morally tenuous attitude and action looks set to antagonise the opposition further and lead to deeper political uncertainty marked by more violent street agitations and resultant loss of life and limbs. Regrettably, the incumbents do not seem unduly perturbed about the widespread violence and vandalism either, which could only mean that they believe they are in control of the situation on the ground and at the political level. Such nonchalance suggests that the incumbents may be banking on the ruling party’s muscle power, aided by the law enforcement of the state, to force the opposition in submission on the one hand and the political and volatility to cast the opposition in poor light on the other.

    The apparent cynical ploy looks highly to backfire on the incumbents, primarily because a significant majority of the people seems to blame them equally, if not more, for the prevailing political turmoil. Moreover, as history shows, employment of repressive measures has hardly helped any regime to prolong its stay in power for long. Hence, instead of dishing out one gimmick after another, the incumbents need to come up with serious and sincere initiatives to prevent the political crisis from deepening further. The prime minister’s resignation, which the opposition has set as a precondition for withdrawal of hartal, could be a good start to this end. It should not be a big deal; after all, the prime minister said only on Sunday that she did not care for prime ministership.