Laws are still inadequate to keep corrupt people away from contesting elections.
This view was expressed by speakers including lawyers, university teachers, journalists and NGO executives at a workshop here yesterday.
Although a drive against corrupt people and criminals are on and many of the once-elected people are now behind the bar or are on trial, most of those are again trying to come back to the polls race due to lax laws or lack of their strict enforcement, they said.
Sushashoner Jonyo nagorik (Sujon) organised the workshop, held at Sylhet Press Club.
Sujon central secretary Dr. Badiul Alam Majumder conducted workshop. The participants included, among others, Prof Syed Anwar Hossain and Prof Shaokat Ara Hossain of Dhaka University, Prothom Alo Associate Editor Mizanur Rahman Khan and Sylhet Press Club vice-presidents Al-Azad and Ataur Rahman Ata.
Eminent educationist Prof Md. Abdul Aziz chaired it.
They said a massive campaign should be launched now to create public opinion so that the so-called elected people who plundered national wealth and resorted to politics of money and muscle power to cling to power can not take part in the upcoming local body and parliamentary elections.
The media should come up in a bigger way now to meet the demand of time and put such dishonest aspirants face to face to voters. This will create the way for people's representatives to become accountable to people in real sense.
Prof Syed Anwar Hossain said the people who will rule the country or formulate law most be honest first. Politicians having no ideology and a desire to serve the people should be given a good lesson through ballot, he said. A campaign to this effect is a pre-requisite for establishing effective democracy, which will benefit the people and lead the country towards peace and progress, he said.
Seeking all out co-operation and an effective role by the media, he said past records of aspirants should be made known to voters as this is the time to make changes, he added.
Dr. Shaokat Ara Hossain said, people are conscious now about their rights but they are left with no choice when corrupt and dishonest people get chance to be in the polls race.
It is the duty of the government, Election Commission and the media to unmask their faces and bar them from being involved in politics. People now want a change for the better but it is the duty of the government and political parties to free politics from money, muscle power and corrupt people, she said.
Dr. Badiul Alam Majumder said, those who plundered people's wealth and did terrorism in the name of politics in the past should be rejected this time. He urged the media men to project polls aspirants' past records, so that voters can take decision to select good representatives.