Article 70 of the constitution has crippled the parliamentary government system, said Jatiya Party Chairman GM Quader yesterday

“MPs cannot vote against their party’s decision due to Article 70 and this is why a dictatorship or autocracy has been established in parliament,” he said while speaking at a joint meeting of Jatiya Sramik Party at the Jatiya Party chairman’s Banani office in Dhaka, reports UNB.

According to Article 70, a person elected as a member of parliament (MP) in a national election in which he or she was nominated as a candidate by a political party shall vacate his/her seat if s/he a) resigns from that party or b) votes in parliament against that party.

Quader, also the deputy opposition leader in parliament, said parliamentary democracy had been introduced in the country as per outlines of the three alliances in 1991 as his brother HM Ershad quit power.

“But in the name of establishing parliamentary democracy, an institutional dictatorship was established in the country by changing the presidential form of government system,” he said.

As per the system, head of the party that gets majority votes in the election becomes head of the government and whatever s/he says will happen. Because, any MP speaking against the party will lose the post, he observed.

GM Quader said Jatiya Party is now the most promising political force in Bangladesh as people have become fed up with BNP and Awami League.

“It’s right that Awami League has carried out various development activities by staying in power for a long time. But they also hurt people with their acts. People of the country don’t remember the development, but they remember the sufferings  for a long time…,” he observed.

Besides, the Jatiya Party chief said BNP has long been facing leadership crisis, making its leaders and activists frustrated. “People are also disappointed with BNP. In such a reality, Jatiya Party is the only political force that people,” he added.

He said people now want Jatiya Party to be stronger and return to power by getting a majority in the national election.

The JP chairman said there was good governance and the rule of law in the country during the nine-year rule of HM Ershad.

“There was no murder, rape, extortion, politicisation and tender manipulation in the country at that time. So, the only party that people trust is Jatiya Party and people will join it in groups in the days to come.”