Thursday, August 26, 2010

Ershad's rule illegal - like all the others?

Gulf Times – Qatar’s top-selling English daily newspaper - SriLanka/Bangladesh: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"

When Chief Justice Shahabuddin took over the presidency after Ershad's resignation on December 6 1990, he raped the constitution - according to which the vice-president should have taken over power. Therefore, Shahabuddin's reign was illegal, and elections held under him were illegal too. So were the amendments he had passed by parliament - all illegal.

According to Walter Mebane of Cornell*, mathematical analysis has shown that both the elections of 1996 and those of 2001 were rigged - they were, therefore, illegal. Hence every government in the last 15 years has been illegal.

The last caretaker government stayed in power for two years and did not hold elections within 90 days of the BNP handing over power: that was illegal.

There is a wide consensus that the army rigged the election of 2008 in favour of the Awami League - hence, that election was also illegal.

Furthermore, Sheikh Mujib himself trashed the constitution and introduced one-party rule - so he started the entire train of illegal governments.

If every government in our history has been illegal, does it matter? One illegal government is as good as another!

*"One example concerns an analysis of the last three elections in Bangladesh. The 1991 election showed no strange results. For the 1996 election some 2% of results were problematic. And fully 9% of the results in 2001 failed the test. The 2001 election was fiercely contested. Yet monitors from the Carter Centre and the European Union found the election to be acceptably, if not entirely, free and fair. Tests like Dr. Mebane's one could provide monitors with quantitative estimates of exactly how free and fair an election has been.... [The Economist, February 24 2007, p 82]"

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