Published: Friday, May 17, 2013


PM on elections

Are we back to where we started from?

PM’s Wednesday’s comments on the election time government make two very important points: first that she wants the parliament to be where the talks with the opposition should take place, and second, she wants a similar type of election government as there are in other parliamentary democracies like UK, India, Australia, etc. Does this statement mark a shift from her earlier call for talks anywhere and at anytime? This seems to be in direct contrast to the position indicated by the head of the UN team at the end of their latest visit indicating that a formal invitation to the opposition about talks was in the offing. PM’s comments imply that there is no immediate prospect of such a letter.

On the other hand we are aware that BNP will have to return to the parliament in the next session to stay within the permitted limit of continuous absence. So why not use the occasion to make a formal presentation of their demands. This will help to break the deadlock.

As for the PM’s second point, we are also at a loss to understand whether her previous insistence that there cannot be any “unelected person” in the election time government is now replaced by her demand that there cannot be a “non-partisan government” either. The difference is significant as there were some talks about finding acceptable team for an election time government and having them elected through a by-election process.

The ruling party’s practice of asking for talks on the one hand and closing options on the other is not likely to results in talks which the people in general want. Its indifference towards a peaceful solution of the present political crisis is both incomprehensible and extremely shortsighted, which is likely to increase political unrest and the resultant violence.