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15th amendment stopped usurping power: PM  

UNB . Dhaka
01 Feb 2023 00:01:02 | Update: 01 Feb 2023 00:01:02
15th amendment stopped usurping power: PM  
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina administers the oath to Rangpur Mayor Mostafizar Rahman Mostafa at the Prime Minister’s Office on Tuesday – PID Photo

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday said the 15th amendment to the constitution has strengthened the country’s democracy and empowered the people to decide who will go to power by stopping the path of unlawful capture of the state power.

“Stability has been prevailing in the country since the 15th amendment to the constitution leading to the long continued democratic process. So, nowadays no unelected person can capture state power illegally,” she said.

The prime minister was addressing the oath-taking ceremony of the newly elected mayor and councillors of Rangpur City Corporation at her office in the city.

The 15th amendment, passed by the parliament on June 30, 2011, made some significant changes to the constitution including the one that ended the illegal take-over of power.

She said the apex court had declared illegal the seizure of state power by issuing martial law after violating the country’s constitution and this has ensured the voting and democratic rights of the people of the country.

“We have strengthened the country’s democracy by bringing (15th) amendment to the constitution following the declaration (the apex court verdict). This democracy is meant to reinforce the power of people and empower them to decide who will or won’t go to power,” said Hasina.

But, the empowerment of the people has become a matter of heart-burning for a section of so-called intellectuals as they never come to power through the people’s votes, she said, adding that they have been trying to disturb the democratic process time and again.

“They, who are never to be elected by people’s vote and fear to face the masses, have inner burning due to this reason, “she added. The prime minister reminded all that the Awami League government was the only one in the history of Bangladesh, which handed over the power peacefully on the completion of its 1999-2001 tenure.

She, however, mentioned that the transparent ballot box and preparing electoral rolls with photographs had been introduced in accordance with the proposal of the Awami League-led grand alliance to hold elections in free and fair manners.

Hasina said the Election Commission has been constituted through a search committee as per a new law enacted by her government that has made it more transparent and accountable. The government has given the commission full financial independence so that it can hold a free and fair election.

The prime minister administered the oath to new RCC mayor Mostafizar Rahman Mostafa, who was elected as a Jatiya Party candidate.

Besides, LGRD and Cooperatives Minister Md Tajul Islam administered the councillors including those who got elected from the reserve seats.

State Minister for the LGRD and Cooperatives Swapan Bhattacharjee was present on the dais while, Local Government division secretary Muhammad Ibrahim moderated the function.

Jatiya Party candidate Mostafa won the mayoral race for the second consecutive term in the Rangpur City Corporation elections held on 27 December last.