None raised caretaker govt issue during US, UK visits

Published : 07 Oct 2023 07:56 PM | Updated : 07 Oct 2023 07:56 PM

It is now as clear as daylight to all that there's no remote weight for rebuilding the caretaker government framework in Bangladesh. European Union, the USA, the UK, or no other world powers want an unconstitutional caretaker government framework.

Recently our premiere Sheikh Hasina visited the United States and the United Kingdom. She attended the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session and other events during the visit. During her visit, no one raised the caretaker government issue. BNP's one-point request is the acquiescence of the Awami League government and the arrangement of a non-partisan government. The demands received no support from either Bangladeshis or foreigners.

There is no legal framework for establishing, appointing, or otherwise empowering the caretaker government, the coalition government lacks the political will to make the necessary changes with elections just a few months to go.

An interim government appointed to oversee elections or govern in times of political crisis is the opposite of democracy. First, caretaker governments are unelected, which means they lack the democratic legitimacy of a popularly elected government. Second, caretaker governments are often appointed by the outgoing government, creating a conflict of interest as the outgoing government may appoint caretaker government officials who are biased in favor of its party. Third, transitional governments often have broad powers that allow them to intervene in electoral processes and suppress opposition. Fourth, transitional governments may be reluctant to hand over power to elected governments, which could lead to political instability and even coups.

For these reasons, caretaker governments are often seen as a threat to democracy. In Bangladesh, the military used the transitional government system to justify political intervention. Bangladesh had abolished the interim government system as it faced challenges, including concerns about the neutrality of the interim government and the possibility of political manipulation. Instead, a new system was introduced in which the Election Commission, a constitutionally independent institution, conducts national elections under the current administration. The purpose of this change was to strengthen the democratic process and avoid the pitfalls associated with a caretaker government system. We hope the importance of this measure will be widely recognised by all parties and individuals.