Rehman Sobhan for ‘democracy fund’ to end money game in polls

News - Rehman Sobhan for ‘democracy fund’ to end money game in polls
 Eminent economist Prof Rehman Sobhan on Monday suggested earmarking a ‘democracy fund’ in the upcoming national budget for election expenditures to keep the national election out of the traditional money game.
“If a democracy fund could be introduced in the national budget to manage election costs, I think, the money game will be stopped ahead of any national election,” he told a seminar in the city.
The Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) organised the seminar, titled ‘Political will can only play the key role in combating corruption’, at its auditorium in the afternoon, marking the Prevention of Corruption Week.
Speaking as the chief guest, Rehman Sohban, also the chairman of Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), said money is the key player in politics now and politics has emerged as an ‘investment sector’.
“Politicians invest millions of Taka in parliamentary polls and they take back the money with interest after being elected,” he said.
The CPD chairman said if the election expenditure of these people who want to join polls having the option for the ‘democracy fund’ in the national budget could be managed, the money game in polls will come to an end and thus politics will get rid of corruption.
Referring to Anna Hazari’s anti-corruption movement in India, Rehman Sohban said such a movement could also be waged in Bangladesh.
He urged the young generation to forge a strong movement against graft like in India to build a nation free from corruption.
Rehman Sobhan said the revered people who have the higher standing in society will have to stand against corruption and take part in various programmes to bring transparency in various social activities.
Vice Chancellor of Jahangirnagar University Prof Dr Syed Anwar Hossain read out the keynote paper at the seminar.
Chaired by ACC chairman Ghulam Rahman, the seminar was addressed, among others, by former advisers to caretaker government Dr Hafiz Uddin Ahmed and Rasheda K Chowdhury, executive director of Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) Dr Iftekharuzzaman, former Education Minister Dr Osman Faruk, president of Communist Party of Bangladesh Mujahidul Islam Selim, Advocate Fazlee Rabbi Miah, Advocate Rahmat Ullah, MP, Tarana Halim, MP, and chief information commissioner Mohammad Faruk.
Source: UNB Connect


  1. Dr. Rehman Sobhan’s study and research on the economy of Pakistan in pre-liberation era strengthened and advanced the 6-point program that culminated in the dismemberment of Pakistan and independence of Bangladesh. But we do not see him conducting any remarkable research why the gap between the poor and the rich is on the increase in independent Bangladesh. His proposal for ‘democracy fund’ will most likely end up in the fate of independent Bangladesh where the prime objective of an exploitation-free, democratic, peaceful society could not be established as yet. The proposal should be as follows:
    1. National elections shall have to be on party basis and seats won will be manned by efficient, honest, patriotic and popular local leaders nominated by the party for indefinite term, assessing the concerned MP’s popularity measured by universally accepted survey. If the MP fails to get at least 40% confidence vote, he should be replaced by the party high command.
    2. There will be no local showdown, procession or campaign by individual candidates. The party top leaders will take part in open debates on their election manifestos broadcast on TV and radio for general public to choose from.
    3. The term of the govt will have to be brought down to 4-years.
    4. Statement of wealth must be submitted by the nominated MPs before and after his term. It must be made mandatory.
    We hope this will greatly discourage the money & muscle game in the elections for which we have become miserable pawns.


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