Vol. 5 Num 926 Sat. January 06, 2007  

Siege programme again
Whither the role of caretaker government?
It is with a great degree of despondency we notice that instead of witnessing the proverbial 'light at the end of the tunnel' the nation is destined to withstand yet another round of oborodh (siege) programme this week (7 and 8 January). The announcement of the programme from the grand alliance leaders came following their boycotting of the election on the ground that most of the contentious political and electoral reform issues still remain unresolved and that the caretaker government (CG) has failed to create the environment for holding the election in a free and fair manner. The grand alliance also demands resignation of the chief adviser of the CG on the ground of incompetence.

Despite the political impasse worsening every day, and the demand for correcting the voter list resounding ever louder in every corner of the country, the Election Commission is bent on holding the election within the stipulated time on the plea of upholding the constitutional requirements. Surprisingly, the EC bigwigs never clarified whether the constitution permits holding an election even if the fundamental instrument, the voter list, remains outrageously flawed and unacceptable to a vast majority of voters. We believe an authentic interpretation of the constitution is very much required at this critical juncture of the nation.

The pervasive wisdom in society is that the apparent ineptness of the caretaker government under the stewardship of president-cum-chief adviser Professor Iajuddin Ahmed in creating a level playing field for all the major political parties has resulted in the obvious -- compounding the political entanglement in the country -- which he and his team were rather supposed to circumvent. Regrettably, the manner in which Iajuddin and his team performed to stem the rot can only be termed as quackery of the worst kind.

Notwithstanding the rationale behind the call for oborodh, the fact remains that the extended Eid holidays are yet to be over therefore the two-day oborodh would virtually keep the wheels of economy shut down till the middle of the month. We therefore would earnestly request the grand alliance leaders to opt for other programmes that would help attain the same objectives but with less suffering to the people.