The politics of constitutional amendments in Bangladesh: The case of the non-political caretaker government
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The Fifteenth Amendment to the Bangladesh Constitution removed the provision for elections under a non-political caretaker government, which allowed for three successful elections in the country. The removal of the non-political caretaker government provision resulted in countrywide violence and an election without participation by the major opposition groups in 2014. This article studies the context in which recent constitutional amendments, (in relation to the non-political caretaker government) have been passed, particularly the Fifteenth Amendment to the Bangladesh Constitution. The article argues that constitutional amendments in Bangladesh have been used in an instrumentalist way for political expediency which, in turn, gives electoral advantage to the ruling party. Democratic institutions and institutions of accountability have been utilised by successive governments in order to pass constitutional amendments that favour the ruling party. The article highlights the Special Committee Report on the Fifteenth Amendment and the Thirteenth Amendment judgment by the Supreme Court, which declared the caretaker government provision unconstitutional and therefore gave the government the legitimacy it required to amend the Constitution. The study of constitutional amendments in relation to the non-political caretaker government provision also illustrates how political parties have demanded or rejected constitutional amendments depending on whether they are in government or in the opposition.
- International Review of Law [96 items ]