SHUJAN-roundtable: Dhaka City Corporation and Zila Parishad Election

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SHUJAN Roundtable (11.12.2014)In spite of end of duration of Dhaka City Corporation in 2007, election has not yet been held resulting much people’s suffering. On the other hand, Zila Parishad election has not yet been held, in spite of constitutional obligation and favorable environment. So, these two elections are essential for the welfare of the people. Leaders of SHUJAN-Citizens for Good Governance made this comment in the roundtable on Dhaka City Corporation and Zila Parishad election held on 11 December 2014 at VIP lounge of national press club, Dhaka.

Justice Kazi Ebadul Hoque and Ali Imam Majumder, executive members of SHUJAN, Professor Asif Nazrul, Politician ASM Akram, Humayun Kabir Hiru, ex-member of parliament, Dilip Kumar Sarker, central coordinator, SHUJAN, Fariduddin, ex-comissioner, Dhaka City Corporation, Professor SM Siddique, Kartic Chandra Mondol, Camelia Chowdhury, and Rezaul Alam participated in the roundtable which was presided over and moderated by M Hafizuddin, president, SHUJAN, and Dr. Badiul Alam Majumdar, secretary, SHUJAN, respectively.

Dilip Kumar Sarker, central coordinator, SHUJAN, presented key note on behalf of Dr. Tofail Ahmed, executive member, SHUJAN. “Seven years from 2007-14 passed away. General election of Dhaka City Corporation was held five years ago before this. Dhaka became divided into two parts of City Corporation. Though four years have passed, election has not been held”, was mentioned in the key note. He stated that more than 40 lac voters and more than one crore people live here in Dhaka. It does not seem that any one has concern for election. Constitution, court order, rules and regulations of democracy are in favour of election. “How far away is Dhaka City Corporation election?” He keeps question to the government.

“Zila Parishad is not only a very glorious local government in Bangladesh but also in the history of subcontinent. But, Zila Parishad has become victim of narrow politics like the story to divide of bread by the monkey and long term conspiracy of democracy. Powerful political parties become involve with unlawful games of Zila Parishad election with a hope of gain power through short cut technique and to keep control within the party”, further was stated in the key note.

“Many changes have been taken place in administrative activities and nature of responsibilities in district. Continuation of methodology of former division seems to be expensive, unnecessary, and burden in the light of time especially due to modernization of material and information. In this regard, in spite of having favourable environment of infrastructure, atmosphere, and condition in every district, there is no excuse of formation of full Zila Parishad. Zila Parishad is also smoothly running in India. Presently, administrators are appointed in the district according to the section-82, Zila Parishad laws, 2000. Administrator appointment can be a short term interim system, but it seems to be permanent system. If this is the fact, what’s the necessity of constitution?”

“Administrative reformation is must as a part of election manifesto and stable endeavor to apex. Elected and real pro-people representatives Zila Parishad and Dhaka City Corporation election are needed in the true sense. Active thinking of all political parties and civil societies in this concern is looked-for. Creation of time based Zila Parishad act before election on the basis of much dialogue is indispensable”.

M Hafizuddin Khan mentioned, “We all being dwellers of Dhaka City Corporation are sufferers due to no election for long time. Sufferings of the city dwellers are becoming severe due to present condition of roads and streets. Giving reference of honorable prime minister ‘no unelected government even for one day’, he questioned why unelected administration in local government which is not desirable. Dhaka City Corporation is suddenly divided into two parts without any dialogue. If government has good will, election can be held at any time. “This election is being overdue due to reconsideration of constituencies which is a lamp excuse. If we are able to arrange parliamentary election after reconsideration of constituencies, so why not in case of Dhaka City Corporation? Which is not realizable”, he added.

Dr. Badiul Alam Majumdar told, “Local government in every administrative unit of the Republic shall be entrusted to bodies, composed of persons elected in accordance with law. That means presence of locally elected administrator is constitutionally mandatory in all administrative levels. If there is no elected Zila Parishad in district, there is a need for amendment of constitution. The cause behind this is that Zila Parishad election has not yet been held in independent Bangladesh. All the governments are doing abuse of constitution. Not only in the constitution but also there is court order in this concern. We also did abuse of these orders. “For whom this state is being governed-citizens or others”? He kept question.

Justice Kazi Ebadul Hoque stated “Government has to ensure provision of elected pro-people in every local government system for the welfare of the country. Not only this but also political interfere have to be stopped.”

Expressing grief Ali Imam Majumder told, “Though our elected representatives are not able to do according to the desires of the people, we want democracy and election. Like others we also want elected Zila Parishad. We want election but duties and responsibilities of these Parishads must be confined”. He urged government to give election without making delay.

ASM Akram told “Central administrative power is responsible for the present situation of the country. Formulation of law is the main duty of the parliamentary members but they are doing nothing except providing yes or no concern during law formulation. Draft laws are prepared by the bureaucrats. As a result, parliamentary members have nothing to do but do interfere in the matter of local government. Sector wise responsibilities should be confined.”

Professor Asif Nazrul told, “Trepidation of election and people seems to be in the existing government. Government is not willing to give election because they are sure that they will be defeated in these elections”. “The present situation of local government especially Dhaka City Corporation and Zila Parishad is contradictory to constitution and human right,” he made comment and urged all to work together in this concern.

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