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Sunday, February 14, 2016

Monday, January 28, 2013
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Zillur critical of opposition role

Laments BNP's JS boycott spree

President Zillur Rahman yesterday said the main opposition BNP had failed to discharge its constitutional and democratic obligation by refraining from regularly participating in parliament over the last four years. 2

"If the main opposition considered themselves as people's representatives and servants, then it was its obligation to discharge its responsibilities by joining parliament and expressing views through constructive discussions in and outside parliament," he said.

The president was addressing the opening sitting of the New Year session of the House amid boycott by the BNP-led opposition MPs.

Like yesterday, the opposition lawmakers, belonging to BNP, Jamaat-e-Islami and Bangladesh Jatiya Party, were not present when he addressed the Jatiya Sangsad in the last three New Year sessions.

They have already boycotted 283 of total 337 sittings of this parliament in the last four years, setting a new record in the House boycott culture of Bangladesh.

Experts say the culture of prolonged boycott has been crippling the parliamentary system since its restoration in 1991 and increasing the confrontational culture in politics.

The Awami League while in the opposition bench also boycotted the proceedings of fifth [1991-1996] and eighth parliament [2001-2006].

The BNP, too, while in opposition boycotted many sittings of the seventh parliament [1996-2001].

The president in his address yesterday said keeping alive political conflict by clinging to any particular position or refraining from carrying out responsibilities bestowed by the people through the adoption of a rigid stance on parliament boycott does not conform to democratic behaviour.

"I therefore once again urge the opposition in this final year of the present parliament and government to please shun the path of igniting fire, violence and anarchy. Please place all your complaints, proposals, recommendations and opinions in parliament and help democracy flourish."

Citing his efforts to constitute the present Election Commission through holding talks with the political parties, the president said this was the first time in Bangladesh that an independent, neutral and powerful EC has been constituted by pursuing the process of dialogue.

"I am firmly optimistic that we shall be able to present a free, neutral and credible parliamentary election in future under the pragmatic leadership of the present Election Commission and through our combined efforts."

In his 148-page address, the president described in detail the current government's various measures and successes in different sectors. However, he did not say if there was any failure on the part of the government.

"The present government has taken all out initiatives to ensure transparency and accountability, open and tolerant conduct, respect toward human rights and rule of law and governance through discussions with all stakeholders," he said.

Zillur Rahman, the head of state, took only 10 minutes to speak about some key features of his written address, which was earlier approved by the cabinet, and the rest was considered as read out.

About the rule of BNP-Jamaat-led alliance, the president said the alliance government had started politics of vengeance immediately after assuming office in 2001 and continued this trend up to 2006. But the history of the world has repeatedly proved that the politics of terrorism and hatred cannot bring benefits for the society and the economy, he said.

"The destructive politics of BNP-Jamaat government had given rise to Bhaban-centric, anti-people activities… but the hardworking people-peasants-labourers, men, women and youths of this country did not tolerate this aberration and waywardness. They, therefore, created another history through the Jatiya Sangsad elections of December 2008," the president said.

"We should take lessons from the past."

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Mr President, you know very well that civilised people can not go to the Parliament as Parliament is occupied by Awami League.

: Mohammed Ali

The views expressed by President Zillur Rahman are that of the party in power. On the other hand, the response of Mr Moudud represented that of the BNP. Each of the two major political parties, as usual, is sticking to their guns with no shift in their policies. Their rigid, obdurate and stubborn attitude is worrisome, annoying and irritating and it is unlikely that the ice would melt even with external hot flush. The reasons are not far to seek. Under a non-party government, there is every possibility of AL loosing the election. On the other hand, under party government, BNP has no chance of winning as elections would not be free, fair and credible (let us not mix up general elections with local elections where there is no change of national government). As such, I am not very optimistic about the shape of the next government. It is very unfortunate that political parties have not learnt to tolerate and accommodate their opponents in the past twenty two years of democratic dispensation. The future appears bleak and for which the politicians alone will be responsible.

: Iftikhar-ul-Awwal


  • Mohammed, UK
    Monday, January 28, 2013 01:22 AM GMT+06:00 (159 weeks ago)

    With due respect to his position, I am forced to opine that he spoke like a party leader and party President not as a head of a democratic republic. It is so deplorable and regrettable in the context of the present political unrest. He spoke as if he was advising the nation like PM. Before delivering his sermon, he should have done his own introspection about his own performance and past and present behaviour of his own AL Govt. As a President, he is supposed to maintain absolute neutrality and not making an election campaign. In the context of our own country to preserve sanctity and democracy, all future Presidents of the country must be a non-political personality then only there will be a balance between all powerful PM and the state. As it is we shall remain where we are rather go backward.

  • Mohammad Rahman
    Monday, January 28, 2013 01:33 AM GMT+06:00 (159 weeks ago)

    If someone in UK or USA (I mean with no prejudice of Bangladeshi politics) reads this news item consisting of President's speech, he will find the President said everything against opposition parties. Nothing to blame the ruling party? The ruling party is doing everything right? In the Quran, Allah says, O you who believe! Stand out firmly for Allah as just witness; and let not the enmity and hatred of others make you avoid justice. Be just, that is nearer to Taqwa; and have Taqwa of Allah. Verily, Allah is Well-Acquainted with what you do.

  • Sheikh Monirul Islam, Opee
    Monday, January 28, 2013 02:01 AM GMT+06:00 (159 weeks ago)

    It shows how our President is acting along the partisan guideline although his constitutional position expects him to be above that. It is so demoralising. Interestingly he does not see how Awami League failed so horribly to discharge equally having to have more than two third majorities. It is really a crisis and I hope the highest office in the country maintains it neutrality and make use of the constitutional power vested in that position.

  • Selma
    Monday, January 28, 2013 02:07 AM GMT+06:00 (159 weeks ago)

    Zillur is an old goat and an Awami League stooge so who cares what he says. This is a fellow who does care a damn about the public as he goes for treatment abroad to luxury Cromwell Hospital in London’s Chelsea. And on his way back he delays the departure of a plane full of people who paid for their tickets unlike him.

  • Barkat
    Monday, January 28, 2013 02:07 AM GMT+06:00 (159 weeks ago)

    Being the constitutional head of country, the President should not just be a rubber stamp of ruling party. He should be the impartial head who should be aware of the facts and play an important role in functioning healthy democracy. But unfortunate to the nation and healthy democracy, the President seems to read the speech prepared by the AL to blame the opposition and pleased the ruling. History will remember him not for what he spoke but for whom he spoke.

  • Dr. Nazmul Haq
    Monday, January 28, 2013 02:38 AM GMT+06:00 (159 weeks ago)

    Well, well and well said, Mr President. Did you discharge your constitutional and democratic duty and obligation by participating regularly in the parliament, while you were an opposition MP? You people have shown the way. So why are you complaining?

    Monday, January 28, 2013 02:54 AM GMT+06:00 (159 weeks ago)

    You accused the opposition parties not to exercise the norms of democracy in and outside the Parliament but are you successful by pardoning 22 convicted killers (who were related to AL politics)? Mr President, strike (hartal) is not a not new name in Bangladesh, AL called hartal 173 days in ’91- ’95 and 133 days in ’01- ’06. During AL’s hartals, streets were more violent and devastating than BNP’s ones. Do you think the prolonged boycott of your party (AL) did not cripple the parliamentary system previously? Why don’t you try to find out the reasons behind BNP’s hartals and advise the PM accordingly? With the present govt and EC, the countrymen don’t expect the next election will be free and fair. Mr President, the BCL has unleashed a reign of terror and repression in all the educational institutions and the country is sunk in neck-deep corruption, favouritism and misrule due to ruling party. You are the guardian and saviour of the nation please acts bipartisan and come forward to save the drowning nation.

  • Shatyabadi
    Monday, January 28, 2013 11:12 AM GMT+06:00 (159 weeks ago)

    It is indeed sad that in his last speech to the parliament the President chose to divide than unify the political forces. We know that he is a partisan, but this was the time show magnanimity for the greater goal of the nation. But who cares for the nation? It appears that not even the president does.

  • Vampire knight
    Monday, January 28, 2013 12:45 PM GMT+06:00 (159 weeks ago)

    With due respect to the position, May I humbly ask our honourable president if he has any advice for the ruling regime, where he belongs to. Does this mean that the ruling regime not doing any lapse or has no fault. And if he himself performing his obligation neutrally as the president of the country, because the other day the president talked lie about Moulana Bhasani and before that the president pardoned the convicted killers of BNP leaders/activists at Natore and Lakshmipur. Can we not expect our president to be a neutral person, above the political line?

  • Shibesh Kirttania
    Monday, January 28, 2013 03:55 PM GMT+06:00 (159 weeks ago)

    When will the culture of boycotting the Parliament come to an end in Bangladesh?





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