Monday, October 30, 2006

The AL Response

As most of you must be knowing by now, President Iajazuddin has decided to name himself the head of the CTG despite an AL plea for him not to. His interpretaion of the constitution (in advice of the partisan Attorney General) can not hold up in any court and the events leading to the decision quite untransperant and dubious.

Like rest of the country I expected the AL to be crying from every rooftop. But I must say I am quite surprised and impressed by the AL reaction. Their response was very measured. It was following the argument that "we can not agree to the process through which the head of the CTG has been chosen but we are willing to give it a go and see if the President can be impartial.”

This has done a few things for them:

1. Shows AL in a positive light. They seemed politically wise and compromising
2. They were practical and showed that violence is not their only tool
3. Gives them bargaining power to have a strong say in selection of the caretaker advisors, and to extract other compromises. (eg reform of the Election Commission)
4. Has not pushed the AL to the corner viz a viz the Army

I am sure over the next few days we will see AL getting the upper hand in the political process.

The mood in general in Dhaka is that “yes the President has used a very Clintonesque argument in naming himself to the position, but hey, give him a chance to prove himself.” Onus is now on the President to rise to the occasion. The AL (and most of media/ civil society) will no doubt now putting everything the President does under a microscope. And if the choice of the other advisors is correct, then the room for one-sided manoeuvrability on his part is severely curtailed.

I also hope (though do not believe) that the AL shows such maturity when it comes to events leading up to the elections.


Anonymous said...

Thinking a little longer term, do you also think this will be the end of the system of caretaker government?

Nazim Farhan Choudhury said...

Unfortunately not.

This has set a very bad precedent and in the future all of us will take liberties with our interpretation of the Articles.

An through overall review of the caretaker system of government is urgently needed to ensure such does not happen in the future.

Also a review of the "first past the post" election system, women's representation, floor crossing and an ombudsman is needed. (But a post on that later)