‘Vision 2030’: BNP will bring balance to ‘absolute power’ of prime minister if elected

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Dhaka, May 10: Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) Chairperson Khaleda Zia on Wednesday has pledged to bringing balance to absolute authority of prime minister if voted to power in the next parliamentary polls.

“Under the existing constitutional framework, the prime minister’s absolute power has given birth to an ‘autocratic dictatorial’ rule in Bangladesh,” she said, adding that a balance would be brought to the executive powers of the republic through necessary amendments to the constitution to bring an end to the existing dictatorial rule.

Unveiling the BNP’s ‘Vision 2030’ at a hotel in Dhaka, she also promised to make reforms of parliamentary democracy, introduce upper house, designating opposition to important parliamentary standing committees.

The BNP chief announced her vision at Westin Hotel in Gulshan in the afternoon. The document was earlier approved at the standing committee, top policy-making body of the party.

She pledged to bring balance in the executive powers of the republic through appropriate constitutional amendments to put an end to all executive powers presently vested unilaterally in the hands of prime minister.

Reading out 256-point charter of Vision 2030, Khaleda said as part of the reforms of the current constitutional arrangement, it will be examined if upper house of Jatiya Sangsad may be established keeping the existing unitary character and structure of the constitution intact.

She also said the important parliamentary standing committees, such as, public accounts committees and public undertaking committees would be designated for opposition MPs.

Khaleda said her party would implement the vision if comes to power in an election under an election-conducive government.

She said BNP will restore the provision of referendum in the constitution to reinstate the democratic right of the people.

Khaleda Zia also promised nullification of the controversial Special Powers Act which often used a tool for harassing opposition.

Leaders of BNP and its allies, pro-BNP professionals, foreign diplomats stationed in Dhaka, among others, present at the event.

“People do not have control of the democracy left to us by the Liberation War. The BNP will restore democracy to people.”

The three-time prime minister said her party does not believe in a ‘one-day democracy.’

Khaleda emphasised the need for honesty and integrity in running administration and said the BNP takes those values seriously.

Dozens of party activists tried to force their way into the ballroom as Khaleda arrived 25 minutes later than scheduled.