Bangladesh: Left Demands Electoral Reform


1-29-07, 10:08 am

CPB’s and Left Parties March Jointly with Red Flag Opposing Plans for Farcical Election

The Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) along with other left forces of the country including the 5-Left Party, Gono Mukti Andolon organized a ‘Red Flag March’ on the 11th of January in the capital opposing the plans to stage a farcical election. Marchers called for the reconstitution of the Election Commission and implementation of a 53-point demand charter for comprehensive electoral reform for free and fair election proposed by the Party. The march started from Muktangon and concluded at Bahadur Shah Park, Dhaka.

At the beginning of the ‘Red Flag March’, addressing the rally the President of the CPB, Manzurul Ahsan Khan, said that when the common people of the country are dying due to cold and starvation, the government is preparing to hold a farcical election by spending 300 crore Taka (approx. $43 million). He said that this election will never be accepted by the common people of the country and the international community as well. Criticizing the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), he said that now they are saying that they will hold another general election after 22nd January if they consider it necessary. So why waste 300 crore Taka for a election farce which will be valid for only a few months?

As a constitutional organ, the election commission has no right to spend the people’s money and bear the liability of BNP-Jamat’s conspiracy. The CPB President demanded exemplary punishment for those who already plundered 200 crore Taka ($29 million) in the name of voter ID card and other related expenditure over the last 15 years. He urged upon all patriotic citizen to strengthen the struggle for Vote and Food. He demanded immediate reconstitution of the Election Commission and implementation of the 53 point demand charter for comprehensive electoral reform for free and fair election proposed by the Party.

The CPB president also demanded necessary steps against the religious extremists, black money and muscle power to ensure the essential condition and environment for free and fair election. Accusing the three enemies communalism, imperialism and plunderers, as the root cause of present crisis CPB President said that this crisis has compelled the common people to come out into the streets. These enemies of the people are responsible for the price hike of essentials, electricity crisis, fertilizer crisis, and other socioeconomic problems as well as the political crisis that has engulfed the country.

A procession supporting these demands, concluded at Bahadur Shah Park, Dhaka chanting slogan with banners and festoons after the meeting. People Don’t Want the Violation of Democratic Rights

The Political Department of the Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB), in a meeting on 12th of January said in a resolution adopted at he meeting that, though after unnecessary delay and at the cost of a huge loss of precious lives of dozens of martyrs and great damage, losses and hardships of the people of the country, the resignation of the Chief Advisor of the Caretaker Government (CTG) and the decision of nullification of the farcical election on 22nd January as well as the new government’s recognition of the necessity of a free and fair election with participation of all parties is a positive step. The CPB in its resolution demanded that the government should take immediate necessary steps for a meaningful election and urged the countrymen to keep a careful watch as to whether the government takes definite steps towards this. The CPB also reiterated that to conduct a free and fair election, effective steps against criminal godfathers, loan defaulters, war criminals, administrative manipulations, election engineering and above all the use of money power to degrade election to ‘Election Commerce’ are also necessary. CPB said that the Party will continue its struggle for the implementation of 53 point demand, a comprehensive charter for radical electoral reform proposed by CPB and the left parties to ensure real free and fair election.

Presided over by CPB President Manzurul Ahsan Khan the meeting also said that for ensuring free-fair pools it was not necessary to add to the difficulties in distressed public life by the declaration of ‘Sate of Emergency’ and curfew. The meeting called upon the people to remain alert so that the government does not encroach upon the fundamental rights, trade union rights, freedom of opinion and press etc in the name of ‘Sate of Emergency’. The CPB also urged the people to remain alert against any harassment on workers, peasants and other people’s movement by using this ‘Sate of Emergency’. The Party has described the inclusion of Rajakars (war criminals) and autocratic forces inside of the BNP led alliance and the AL led grand alliance as a serious danger to the country. Criticizing the power hungriness and pro imperialist policies of alliance and the grand alliance, the CPB said that the foreign imperialist forces are taking the advantages of this rivalry and interfering on country’s internal affairs. The Party strongly condemned the unauthorized activities of US ambassador and some other western diplomats in the name of political mediation. The CPB has called on all patriotic and democratic forces of the country to remain alert about the threat the blue print of so called ‘Third Force’ as a replacement of BNP-Jamat sponsored blue print of the abandoned farcical election, which is the desire of certain imperialist foreign forces.

The meeting demanded of the government to take immediate steps to control price hike of essentials, fertilizer and to bring the law and order situation under control.

From the Monthly Bulletin of the Communist Party of Bangladesh