A group of academics, journalists and political analysts on Thursday asked all political parties to find a solution to the crisis over the form of interim-government for the upcoming parliamentary elections. They made the call while addressing a seminar on ‘democracy, elections and political crisis: role of mass media’ organised by Dhaka University Journalists’ Association at Teacher-Student Centre as part of marking the organisation’s 28th founding anniversary.
The panelists also stressed the need for neutral roles of the Election Commission and cooperation among the political parties, civil society and mass media.
Speaking on the occasion, prime minister’s media adviser Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury said, ‘Politicians must find out a way to resolve the existing political stalemate so that non-political forces cannot grasp the national politics.’
‘Election Commission plays pivotal role during election, and no matter under which governments — caretaker system or partisan system, the election must be held,’ he said, ‘The EC with institutional initiative can hold a free, fair and acceptable election alone.’
He also sought cooperation from the leaders of all political parties, civil society and mass media as well.
A former election commissioner M Sakhawat Hossain expressed, however, uncertainty in holding the polls because of failure in negotiations between the two major political parties.
‘I have no answer to the questions whether the next general elections will be held or not,’ he said, terming the possibility of holding the next parliamentary elections as the ‘most vital crisis’ for the country because neither elections ensure democracy nor do political parties practice democracy in the country.
Expressing his doubt about efficacy of the international interfere in resolving the crisis instead of own initiatives of the major political parties, he said, ‘We expect that the next elections will be held with the participation of all political parties.’
DU vice-chancellor AAMS Arefin Siddique called upon the political parties for talks to reach a solution.
In his keynote paper, DU Professor Abul Kashem Fazlul Haque recommended ‘neo-democratic government’ where nobody in the state would be underprivileged in rights and opportunities.
Chaired by DUJA president MM Jashim, the seminar was also addressed, among others, by DU mass communication and journalism professor Sheikh Abdus Salam, News Today editor Riazuddin Ahmed and private television Boishakhi TV’s chief executive officer Manjurul Ahsan Bulbul.
Earlier in the morning, a colourful procession was brought out from TSC and it paraded the campus.
-With New Age input