The next national election can be held in a free and fair manner under the party government if all concerned play a positive role, Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) said on Monday.
“An election can be fair even under a party government if there are a favourable ground, neutral administration and accountability of all concerned,” TIB Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman said.All the political parties have to have interest in the party government, he added.
Dr Iftekharuzzaman made the statement while addressing a press briefing titled ‘Manifestos of Political Parties: Good Governance and Sanctity’ at TIB office in the capital.
“It can’t be said that all the elections held under the incumbent government were not unacceptable. But, there is a lack of people’s faith in elections under a party government. There were also faults in various polls.”
“The parliament could not be made active expectedly because of conflicts of interests... the transparency and accountability of the government could not be ensured. Political influence was there in appointment, promotion and transfer in administration, law and justice divisions.”
“Many elections were held fairly. But the tendency to refuse results in case of defeat should be avoided. The faith has decreased in the polls under a partisan government due to not accepting election results,” he said.
Besides, there is a lack of a democratic practice, he added.The TIB has recommended 33 percent reserved seats for women. It has also recommended direct elections to the reserved seats.
It urged the authorities concerned not to legalise black money and bring back the laundered money.
Dr Sumiya Khayer, adviser and executive manager of TIB, and Rafiqul Hasan, director (research and policy), were, among others, present.
The TIB made the observations based on findings of a study on good governance and integrity in political parties in the election manifesto.
The Election Commission is set to announce a schedule for the next parliamentary elections any day after October 30 and hold the polls at the end of December.
Earlier, the nation found some elections under a poll-time caretaker government. But the country had a bitter experience during such interim administration for harassing politicians and bureaucrats and extorting businessmen.
The apex court earlier scrapped the caretaker-government provision for being unconstitutional. But opposition BNP and its allies have been demanding the next polls under a caretaker government.
Iftekharuzzaman said there is a huge gap between the promises made in the manifesto of all political parties and their implementation.
However, the observation made by TIB can be instrumental to reshaping thoughts political parties about the upcoming polls.