Dhaka, Bangladesh
How to unravel so intricate knot!

How to unravel so intricate knot!

Many byways being broached

A note of despair is being aired by some of analysts over the politicians' ability to unravel so intricate a knot of political problems still persisting over next polls. A few even appear to be in a dilemma as to whether it would eventually be possible to hold the election. Their pessimistic utterances, however, are reinforced by some ruling-party leaders' accusations that their political archrival, BNP to be specific, were looking for ploys to foil the polls. Prof Shahiduzzaman, while pointing out so intricate a web of issues during a TV talk on Friday night, struck a note of pessimism: "I doubt if the polls can eventually be held." Hawks and doves both, however, are among those who are appearing in various forums of discussions on the deep-seated political and poll issues. Pacifists are coming up with various formulae of holding a much-aspired 'participatory election with the BNP and other parties that had boycotted the last polls basically over the issue of caretaker government that was scrapped under a move by the Awami League government. In the changed circumstances, the BNP broached a surrogate for the non-party caretaker government. The former ruling party opted for 'election-time government' to hold a free, fair and neutral election. By an implicit reciprocation, ruling Awami League general secretary and road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader recently said there would be small election-time cabinet that would do only routine work. A big question is cropping up if it's possible to have BNP representation in the interim cabinet. On legal question, it is being pointed out that BNP is not in parliament and so they have no elected representative to be inducted as per provision of the constitution. One suggestion coming on this point is inducting technocrat ministers from BNP. Another is vacating some seats and getting BNP-chosen people elected in by-election to fulfill constitutional requirement. After and above all is the BNP demand for release of party chief Khaleda Zia as they made a stand that they wouldn't go to the polls or allow 'any election in the country keeping her in jail'. Some legal experts are of the opinion that at the moment she is being held behind bars not through judicial process but through administrative-political process of filing fresh cases and the events of 'shown arrest'. The case in which she has been convicted is 'bailable' and also got bail from higher court. Gordian knot? Goodwill. "Creating goodwill (between the two sides of the political divide) can help out," said one political analyst. In the latest instance, creating a space for the BNP to hold Friday's rally in the city is being seen by many as a sign in the direction of fostering goodwill ahead of the fast-advancing crucial polls.

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