TIB: Address high-level power abuse and release corruption whitepaper

Evasive explanations regarding former chiefs of army and police, and killing of AL MP will be unacceptable to people

Bonik Barta Online

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In light of recent abuses of power, corruption, and political wrongdoing—including the killing of a ruling party MP, US sanctions against a former army chief, and the seizure of bank accounts and assets of a retired RAB and police chief in response to court directives—the need to demonstrate the government's zero-tolerance stance against corruption has become critically important, stated Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) on Sunday.

In a statement addressing the corruption allegations against the former army chief, the police and RAB chief, and the killing of the MP, TIB Executive Director Dr. Iftekharuzzaman said, “If the government and the ruling party only offer evasive explanations out of embarrassment, it will not only be unacceptable to the people but also be suicidal for the government. The citizens of this country are already aware that these three highly publicized incidents are not isolated; they are symptomatic of deep-seated institutionalized corruption and represent just the tip of the iceberg. It is also clear that the responsibility for these crimes extend beyond those directly involved. Therefore, unless both the perpetrators and those who aid, abet, benefit from, and protect them are held accountable, the government's election promises will be seen as empty rhetoric, and corruption and wrongdoing will continue to proliferate. Therefore, we urge to address the high-level power abuse by following due process and to release a whitepaper on corruption”

He further said, “The irresponsible actions of former heads of significant state forces such as the Army, RAB, and the Police, along with a lawmaker, have instilled doubts and concerns about the government, the state system, and the governance structure in the public's mind. These concerns need to be credibly resolved. Furthermore, the promptness exhibited by relevant institutions, including the ACC, should not be diminished to mere formalities of showcasing efforts.”

A detailed reflection of the ruling party's consistent political declarations and convictions against corruption is evident in their election manifesto for the 12th National Parliamentary Election. This year's manifesto includes a chapter-long commitment with six articles dedicated to ensuring accountable governance and more than a dozen specific commitments aimed at preventing and controlling corruption. However, there is no strategy or roadmap for implementing these grand promises. Given this reality and the emerging situation, if the government and the ruling party want to demonstrate respect for their promises, they must disclose the existing nature of power abuse, which is fundamental element to all three cases, and publish a whitepaper on high-level corruption across institutions and sectors. Additionally, according to the ruling party's election manifesto, TIB calls for the establishment of short, medium, and long-term strategies and guidelines to ensure good governance and prevent corruption.

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