Foreign Policy Blogs

Jurist Says Caretaker Governments Should Stay on to Support Democracy

It is a testament to the broken, intractably conflict-ridden politics in Bangladesh, that respected jurists can claim that a dictatorial move remain in place in order to allow democracy to breathe and to burn bright.

Jurist Dr. Kamal Hossain argued that the the institution of caretaker governments should remain in place while parties revolve in and out of power.  The electoral process under the two major parties has been shown to be too politicized.

The Daily Star newspaper provides a bit of context behind Dr. Hossain’s argument:

Dr Kamal said this while making submissions as amicus curiae (friend of court) during a hearing on an appeal against the High Court verdict that had declared valid the 13th amendment to the constitution allowing elections under the caretaker government.

A seven-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice ABM Khairul Haque yesterday held the hearing for the third day.

Following a controversial election on February 15, 1996, demand for the caretaker government was pressed and the system was introduced through the 13th amendment.

Dr Kamal said the court has to evaluate the circumstances under which the caretaker government system was introduced in the country.

The argument is essentially that neither of the two parties, the Awami League and the BNP, can be relied upon to play the democratic electoral game fair and square.  Both parties can be successfully relied up on to change the rules of the game in their own favor.  Some of that is wildly on display during the Awami League’s current turn at high office, even if a sizable portion of the public approves of the AL’s political and policy moves in office.



Faheem Haider

Faheem Haider is a political analyst, writer and artist. He holds advanced research degrees in political economy, political theory and the political economy of development from the London School of Economics and Political Science and New York University. He also studied political psychology at Columbia University. During long stints away from his beloved Washington Square Park, he studied peace and conflict resolution and French history and European politics at the American University in Washington DC and the University of Paris, respectively.

Faheem has research expertise in democratic theory and the political economy of democracy in South Asia. In whatever time he has to spare, Faheem paints, writes, and edits his own blog on the photographic image and its relationship to the political narrative of fascist, liberal and progressivist art.

That work and associated writing can be found at the following link: