Speakers at a meeting Thursday underlined the need for providing identity card to every citizen as well as to the voters to ensure free and fair election and strengthen their commitment to the state.
They also suggested for transforming the Election Commission (EC) and caretaker government into independent institutions for sustainable democracy in the country.
Experts from different sectors like lawmakers, businessmen, lawyers, NGO workers and media professionals were discussing on "Vision 2021 for Bangladesh, Goal 1: To Become a Participatory Democracy" at the CIRDAP auditorium.
The Nagorik Committee 2006 organised the expert group consultation meeting in order to make Bangladesh a strong democratic country with a sustainable economy.
Presided over by the Chairman of the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) Rehman Sobhan, former Finance Minister M Syeduzzaman, Justice Abdur Rouf, Justice Sobahan, President of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Mahbubur Rahman, Awami League lawmaker Abdur Razzak, BNP lawmaker Zahir Uddin Swapan, JSD leader Hasanul Huq Inu, Executive Director of CPD Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya, Barrister Tanjibul Alam, Ramendu Majumder and others spoke on the occasion.
M Syeduzzaman said there has been an erosion of democratic values in the country during the last 15 years. "Within the political parties, there is a lack of democratic practice," he said adding, the political parties do not hold annual general meetings to elect their executives.
Mahbubur Rahman said the introduction of national identity card for citizens is a must to make them feel proud and to encourage them for practising democracy. He urged the government and authorities concerned to ensure that the EC is turned into a strong institution so that all of its officials are able to discharge their duties in a free and transparent manner.
Emphasising the need for an institutional electoral process, Zahir Uddin Swapan said institutionalisation of the EC and caretaker government is a must for a free and fair election as well as for participatory democracy.