`Don’t amend Bangladesh constitution in haste’

July 25th, 2010 - 12:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Sheikh Hasina Dhaka, July 25 (IANS) The principal architect of Bangladesh’s 1972 constitution, Kamal Hossain, has said that the government should not amend the constitution “in haste, without building consensus”.
“The constitution is sacred. The government should not add anything to the constitution suddenly without unanimity,” said Hossain.

The main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) did not nominate a lawmaker on the 15-member committee announced earlier this week, citing procedural reasons and calling the exercise “a conspiracy”.

BNP standing committee member Moudud Ahmed Saturday said his party would join the parliamentary special committee for review of the constitution if the panel was recast with equal number of members from the treasury and opposition benches.

The BNP has 31 seats in the 345-member house that includes 45 seats reserved for women.

Moudud castigated the way the ruling party chief whip and not parliament secretariat had sent a letter to the BNP asking it to nominate a representative for the committee.

“A single member on the committee can do little,” he was quoted as saying by New Age.

Moudud said he found “no rationale” for going back to the constitution as many years had already passed since it was adopted in 1972 and the amendments were brought to it “to meet the requirements of the time”.

“Even the prime minister herself is against restoring the 1972 constitution as she has already said that ‘Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim’ will not be removed from the constitution and the religion-based parties will not be banned.

“How could the constitution be secular with Islam as the state religion and Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim remaining in its preamble,” he asked.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced the committee with overwhelming representation for the teasury benches that have more than two-thirds of parliamentary strength, leaving a seat vacant for the BNP.

The exercise is aimed at undoing the radical changes brought about when the country was governed by military-led governments.

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