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Party-based election to be introduced for local govt: Ashraful

Staff Correspondent |
Update: 2010-08-01 01:08:11
Party-based election to be introduced for local govt: Ashraful

DHAKA: In a major development on the electoral front, the ruling government is considering introducing ‘party-based’ elections in every tier of local government to make it more effective and “strengthen the democratic process”.

The indication came from Local Government and Rural Development (LGRD) Minister Syed Ashraful Islam at a national seminar organized Sunday by grassroots-level local government representatives.  

He said the change in the age-old local-government system would be brought through constitutional amendment.     

Local elections in the country are held on non-party basis, but, practically, the political parties indirectly set their candidates for election to all the local-government bodies.            

“Steps will be taken to hold local-government elections with party nominees in the contest to strengthen the democratic process and make the national leadership stronger,” said Syed Ashraful, also the ruling Awami League general secretary.  

Municipal and Union Councils jointly organised the seminar at a city hotel.

The Awami League spokesman alleged that the military governments in the past had used the organs of local government to hang on to power and did nothing to make it an effective tool of governance.

“We want to take the outcome of development to the grassroots level by decentralizing power through constitutional amendment,” he told his audience from the lowest rung of government.

State Minister for LGRD and Cooperatives Jahangir Kabir Nanak, AKM Mozammel Haque MP, UGC chairman Prof Nazrul Islam and secretary Manwar Hossain attended the seminar with Mahbubur Rahman Tulu, president of Bangladesh Union Parishad Forum, in the chair.

BDST: 1805 HRS, 1 Aug 2010

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