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Army May Intervene December 6, 2013

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New York Times
Financial Times Bangladesh
Prothom Alo

An ordinary citizen

UN and Bangladesh Election December 4, 2013

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UN Ban ki-moon -1August 2013: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon had telephoned  PM and Opposition leader for a free, fair and participatory election. (more…)

Army and Election December 3, 2013

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Chief Election Commissioner wanted to deploy Army long before election considering the ongoing political violence in the country that may affect the coming election. In a preparatory meeting with the law enforcing agencies, CEC wants  all the law enforcing agencies to support the election process. PSO said that Army will remain engaged in their winter exercise till the 3rd week of December 2013.

Many think that Bangladesh Army might be trying to be aloof from directly involved in the support of the government and to stand against the people.

CEC rests his hope on the next meeting with the District Commissioners on 13th instant where they might again discuss the need of Army in the pre-election phase.

An ordinary citizen

Bangladesh at a Crossroads March 21, 2013

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bangladesh-6BNP, the largest opposition took a hard stand against the government and stood by Jamaat to call hartal on the streets. Jamaat-e-Islami is fighting for the cancellation of the war crime tribunal and release of their leaders. BNP is trying to press the government to agree for a caretaker government for holding a neutral general election which is due to be held by the end of this year. But the government is also non-compromising in its stand. They are hard on the the war crime trial and also determined to declare verdicts on half a dozen cases before election. Government is also not in mood to accept CTG as an interim way to hold the general election for transition of power. (more…)

Narayanganj election: who wins? November 4, 2011

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After many dramas and much tension , Nayanganj election is over. The drama started with the first day when 2 very potential candidates filed nomination from the same party. This was possible as the city corporation election is non-party basis and party’s endorsement is not necessary for filing the nomination. Next, both the candidates vied for the support of the party high ups. As both candidates belongs to the government party , they were called by the Prime Minister. What was discussed or told in person were not disclosed outside but both the candidtaes claimed the blessings of the Prime Minister. Whille the public were uncertain, 3 orgamising secretaries of the ruling party appeared in the campaign scene to declare their support in favour of one Showkat Osman. Election Commission warned party organisers not politicise the non- party election. In the capital, the party spokesman declared that the party has no relation with the declared stand of the organising secretaries and it was only their personal opinion. 2 days later the same man declaed ignoring the warning of the EC that AL stands in favour of Sowkat Osman. EC looked weak to the polical stand of the ruling party. In the face of open party stand, Ivy , the other candidate announced , ‘People is on her side’. Campaign continued.

Controversy also raised about the use of Electronic Voting Machine. EC declared to use EVM in 9 voting centers or one third of the total centers. Tairmur, BNP supported candidate protested against the EVM.Taimur even said to confine EMV to two centres so that it had no major influence on the result. Ivy initially supported, then casted her doubt on the method fearing that govt may use it to rig the vote. Osman had no objection to the system. EC remain fixed to their original plan on EVM. Ivy’s posters were found to be missing. Ivy complained that Osman people are behind this unlawful act. When the emotion was on the peak and voting day was only 2 days away, EC failed to deploy the army as they promised. People became suspicious , candidates became confused and EC becaame frustrated. CEC even accused the government of violating the constitution. Yet CEC hoped that fair election could be held without the presence of Army if people participated in the voting in large number.

On the night before voting, all of a suuden Taimur announced his wihdrwal from the race on the plea that the election would not be fair without the presence of Army and government was certain to rig the election. He dealared in tearful eyes and on the direction of his highest leadership. With the disappearace of Taimur from the scene , all eyes now focused on Osman and Ivy. Ivy declared, ‘People are my Army’. She urged all the 15 lac peopel (voter no 4 lac) to come to the voting centres on the day of election.
Elecion held peacefully, no untoward events occured. Though there was no Army, Police and Rab were present in large numbers and turn out of voters was 70 %. Both the candidates raised some irregularities. Voting ended and counts began. Not only the people of Narayanganj but people from all over the country glued to the TV channels to follow the results. With the pouing of results, people found that Ivy won by huge margin.
Is it win of Ivy alone ?
It is the win of the people and win of people’s power.

An ordinary citizen

Nayanganj Election: A tough test for the government October 30, 2011

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Narayanganj City Corporation election is going to be held on 30 October 2011. 6 candidats are competing for the post of city mayor. 3 competitors are in strong race. One of then is supported by the ruling party, the second one claiming to have the blessing the common people and the 3rd one is supported by the opposition.

The election is important from many direction for the government.

The government is obliged to arrange an electon that should be fair and neutral, well managed and free from any sort of interference. As the government is abolishing the caretaker government system and put it’s weight on the strong election commission, it should support the EC in every way to a fair election.

During the campaign, the rules of election was violated by different candidates, the EC warned the candidates but couldn’t take any major decision.

There were always allegation of muscle power, black money, intimidation of voters, communal threat and one candidate also predicts attacks by islamic terrorists.

EC declared to provide Army during election before 48 hours from the beginning. But Government rejects the proposal just before the elction creating great confusion among the voters and the countrymen.The candidates also didn’t take it easily. CEC said government has violated the constitution by not providing the Army.

This election also see the introduction of electronic voting. Objection was raised by candidates on its use in the elction where one third of the voting will be held by the machine. The proportion is enough to manipulate the result in one’s way if the program is altered Or manipulated.

The Narayanganj City Corporation election is a test for government of it,s commitment and sincerity to hold a credible elction.

An ordinary citizen

Follow up :
30.10.2011 9-00 am
Candidate supported by main opposition BNP also declared his withdrawal from the race at fag hours in protest against the government attempt to influence the election by not deploying the Army.

31.10.2011 12-30 am

Election result: Ivy is heading for victory. V for Ivy

EMV and Bangladesh Elections October 19, 2011

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, ELECTION.
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Election Commission is trying to introduce electronic voting machine in the current local election with the hope to introduce it in the national election . But the experiment drew sharp criticism from the oppostion and they will oppose any attempt to introduce it in Bangladesh election .

Chief Election Commition has said ‘EC is mulling EVM as a part of modernizing election system in Bangladesh. In many countries of the world it is in practice.’

The opposition is saying that there is scope to manipulate the result of election through EMV. A Buet professor who was behind the program also said that the result can be altered by changing the program.

But it is not rational to avoid the technology as it is in existance in many countries. If there is any loop holes in the system that should be addressed and the authenticty of the systen can be checked before the voting by the experts and observers.

An ordinary citizen

Media and non-political entity of local elections October 18, 2011

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Nayanagang city corporation election is set. Election Commission has confirmed the candidature of 6 candidates after screening. Two of them are part mayors and one is female with strong political background.

City Corporation elections are local elections. Constitutionally these are non political elections. Party will not nominate any candidate and no party should express their support for any candidate.

Political leaders sometime try to break the rule and this so happen in case of Narayangang election. While the expectation from the political leaders are poor, we have high hope on the media. But we feel frustrated when leading media fails to honour the rule.

Badrud Doza

Care Taker Government and Supreme Court Judgment May 23, 2011

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Supreme court in a judgment declared caretaker system illegal in Bangladesh. It is to be noted that Bagladesg has introduced caretaker government system to hold national elections under a politically neutral tenvironment. The care taker government instituted for 3 months following the tenure of the elected government is over and headed by the immediate past chief justice. A group of advisers among the non-political personalities from the professionals are selected to support him. The CTG is basically assigned to hold the general election and to maintain the general administration. They are nor empowered to formulate any major rules and regulations and will not change the constitution,

Bangladesh virtually hold 4 national elections under the CTG and all of them were accepted by the people as fair and neutral. In the history of Bangladesh, these elections are best of its kind.

But to influence the composition of the ctg with an aim to influence the result of the ellection, the elected governments had tried in the past to promote their loyal judges to the post of Chief Justice, superceeding the seniors. This attempt has been made in 2001 and 2006 . In 2001, the cj didn’t fulfil the wish of his mentors.In 2006 , the oppostion to the manuever lead to the formation of a caretaker government headed by the president, who later had to handover the charge to a new set of advisers led by Dr. Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed. This Ctg stays in power for long 2 years and tried to reform the political system but at last left the scene by holding an election in December 2008 in which AL gained a landslide victory.

Controversy arises on the tenure of the ctg and the manipulation of the promotion of the judges ? .

Supreme Court took the opinion of the Amicus Curiae. Most of the americus queri except one gave opinion in favour of CTG. Citizens groups also favour caretaker goverment.

8NP expreesed its opposition to any move form the concept of caretaker government. Ershad hails the idea. Jammat is not in a postion to say anything on the issue. Their top brasses are in the jail on the charge for crimes committed during the liberation war.

The issue will be discussed in the parliament. The motive of AL is not yet clear whether they will prefer a caretaker government or switch over to other form. The judgment of the supreme court open up the dual opportunity for them. They are tatking time to come to a conclusion.I am also suspecting that they will linger the discussion close to the end of their term and on the political reading at the last moment they will come to a decision.

People still would prefer an elelction under CTG. The alternative is an election under an independent election commission. But political government does not yet able to develop the confidence to conduct an independent election under an election commission.

Any attempt by the government to manipulate the result will bring no good to the government.

An ordinary citizen

Chittagong Mayoral Election- a Win for Democracy June 18, 2010

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.The mayoral election for Chittagong City Corporation was held in absolute peaceful state on 17th instant.. No incident of any measurable amount took place during the voting. The counting began as usual. The result was also started to pouring out from the control center of the Election Commission at Chittagong Stadium Gymnasium. But the trouble begins when the declaration of the result halted from being announced. Amir Khusheu Mahmud, an Ex- Minister and leader of BNP declared to the media that the Administration is conspiring to alter the result of the election. He said that EC declared the result of few centers where Mohiuddin was advancing but they have in possession of result of 200 centers where Monju, BNP backed candidate was in advance. He added that Government was compelling the presiding officers not to sign over the result sheets.
Trouble erupted outside the control centers. Clashes took place between the rival parties, Vehicles were burned down and transport interrupted. Declaring the results later resumed and after the midnight, it became clear that Munjur was advancing ahead of Mohiuddin. In the meantime, Incumbent Mayor Mohiuddin wanted to enter into the premises of control room on a truck with his workers. Army on duty allowed him to go on rickshaw. he stayed there for an hour, didn’t give any speech and then left.

In the morning, after counting all votes, Mrs. Jeshmin Tuli, the Returning Officer of the election declared Mr. Monjur the new Mayor of the City. People relieved of the overnight anxity.

The new Mayor thanked the people for their support and asked his workers not to make the day a festive one.

Prime Minister Sk. Hasina Congatulated the new Mayor. We appreciate. BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia aslo congratulated the new Mayor and thanked the people for the change they made. AL Organising Secreatary Obaidul Karim in a commuique said that AL as a democartratic party accepted the verdict and is taking the result as a caution to the Government.LGRD MInister Ashraful Islam assured that the Govt will continue its support to develop Chittagong city and AL will think about new leadership in Chittagong.

After a mid-night drama, it is the democracy that wins the race.

An ordinary citizen

Upazilla election-follow up January 23, 2009

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, ELECTION, GOVERNANCE, local government, POLITICS.
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Nation-wide upazilla election was held yesterday but it was marred by intimidation,violence,rigging, low voter turn out and the people is gripped with a frustration over the way the election was held.

The result so far showed that out of 472 upazilla, 461 result is out , AL got 306,BNP 73, Jamaat 22, Jatiya party 13, others 47.

Chief Election Commissioner on upazilla election said that election didn’t reflect the will of the people. The pro-government element tried to influence the result by force. He also commented that the young and women showed poor turnout in the election.

But the Home Ministry claimed that the polls were peaceful across the country except a few stray incidences.

The LGRD Minister Ashraful Islam add that the few violence that have occurred wouldn’t happened if the local government election be held on party basis.

The State Minster for Home said that it is the Election Commission who were responsible for the law and order situation as all the necessary forces were deployed as required.

It is not the number of seats that AL lost, but question on the credibility of the election erodes the confidence of the people on the government to hold a free and fair election even of a local government nature.

The election will also shake the confidence of the people on the ability of the political government to hold acceptable parliamentary election in place of caretaker government system in Bangladesh.

Before taking such a move the political government must show their good intention and capability to hold a free and fair election under an independent election commission.

There is still a hope remain as the Prime Minister SK. Hasina didn’t speak out yet and we hope that she would realize the stake of the government and will give more importance to the long term need of the government than short terms.

Is AL only set for 5 year term and their vision 2021 will remain for others to materialize?

An ordinary citizen

News link:
Upazilla polls influenced
Ghosts of past return
Fear factor behind the low turnout
Minister, AL MP face jail term

Post Script:
One of the achievements of the upazilla election, as said by Chief Electon Commissioner is ‘a process has began’. We are also agreed with the idea and hope that the local government election sn the future will be more free and fair.

The new government and upazilla election January 19, 2009

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, ELECTION, GOVERNANCE, local government, POLITICS.
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Upazilla election was always a matter of controversy over the last two years after the Election Commission expressed it’s willingness to hold the upazilla election to strengthen the local government. Major political parties were against holding of Upazilla election under the CTG.
But both AL and BNP failed to hold the Upazilla election during their tenures from 1991 though they were commited to hold the election in their election manifestos.

People in general perceived the upazilla election as their empowerment and they responded positively when idea of the upazilla election was floated.

EC once declared to hold the upzilla election in October 2008,but due to pressure from the political parties to shift it beyond the general election date, the upazilla election is then scheduled to 28th December 2008 with general election date on 18th December 2008.Though AL accepted the dates, BNP with its allies opposed the idea. It raised demand to shift the date of elections for 2 to 3 months more.

After hectic negotiations with the conflicting parties, Dr. Hussain Zillur Rahman and his team from the Advisory Council ultimately convinced the parties to participate in the elections. Accordingly, EC declared the general election on 29th December 2008 and upazilla election on 22nd January 2009.

Nation initially concentrated on the parliamentary election of 29th December 2008 and people then were not sure about the upazilla election.

In the general election, AL got the landslide victory. Few people thought that CTG may delay handing over the charge to the elected government and may wish to complete the upazilla election under their control.
But they handed over the charge.

People have seen that AL-led new political government has allowed processes of the upazilla election to be continued under the old leaders of the Election Commission.

It is one of the positive steps that new government has taken so far. It has scored high not postponing the upazilla election and not intefering it. If upazilla electionis held on 22nd January free and fair and if the Election Commission can exert its control over the election completely independent, it will not only boost the image of the government but also of the nation.

An ordinary citizen

Scoring the political parties from Day 1 January 2, 2009

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The general election is over. AL wins a landslide victory. On the other hand, BNP suffered an unimaginable defeat.

Out of 299 seats contested, AL and its’ allies got 262 seats (AL 230,JP 27,JSD 3,WP 2,) BNP & its allies 32( BNP-29,JI-2,BJP-1),LDP-1, IND-4.

In percentage, AL got 49.02%, (in 2001 it got 40.13%), BNP got 32.74% ( in 2001 it got 40.97%).people's mandate

In round figure, BNP got 2,30,86,460 votes (in 2001 it was 2,28,33,978).AL got 1.14 crore vote more) than BNP in 2008.

AL acknowledged that the magnitude of victory they have attained in the election was beyond their speculation. It bestowed on AL extra responsibility to fulfill the dream of the people. People will follow every footsteps of AL from Day1. In the same way they will also observe BNP and its allies who form the opposition.

Immediately after the result Hasina called for calm and urged the party men not to go into festivities.Later in the press conference , she invited the support of opposition to build up a prosperous Bangladesh. She offered the post of the deputy speaker and proportionate representation in the parliamentary committees to the opposition. We think this is a positive step from day 1 for AL.

It was difficult for BNP to swallow the result with such a huge margin of defeat.Khaleda refused to accept the result and said that it is the result of long conspiracy of Election Commission and Caretaker Government to make a party win and form the next government. Common people will take it as a failure on the part of BNP to accept the reality.
After one day, CEC said people will not accept any dishonor and disrespect to the verdict they have given in the election.
(Courtesy: The pie chart is taken from the Daily Star)

An ordinary citizen

Readers, you are welcome to put your comment/s on the performance of the political parties in the coming days in this post.

Expectation of people from AL on election result January 1, 2009

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Awami league won a landslide victory in the general election held in 29th December 2008. AL and its allies won 262 seats against BNP & its allies 32 seats and others 5 seats. By percentage, AL won 3/4th of the seats.
The landslide victory added extra responsibility to the AL.
Let’s see what people expect from AL.
People wants from AL good governance and no corruption. People also don’t like to see politicization of the administration.

People would like to see the upazilla election to be concluded as scheduled and to be conducted by this Election Commission who have built a good image for them. People also want local government is more strenghen in our country.

People would like to see the constitutional bodies to run independently. In this regard, people would prefer that the new parliament will acknowledge the better ordinances adopted by the caretaker government for the good of the country.

People would prefer that we live in a society of justice. The judiciary will be permitted to work independently and will be more strengthened. The judges will be selected on their record through an independent body.

The government would continue the effort against corruption and will let the Anti-Corruption Commission to work independently and more efficiently.

The PSC will continue as independent institution and recruit the public servants without any pressure or biasness.

The dearest longing of the people is that the new government will bring down the price of the essentials. AL declared that the price of rice would be Tk. 15. In doing so, the government should also look after the interest of the farmers, so that they aren’t deprive of their due share.

They would also maintain law and order more or less perfectly.They would run the government in consensus with the oppostion parties, make the parliament effective, would give due respect to the opposition and due share to the opposition in the parliament.

Hasina opined that poverty is the enemy of her government.New government would take measures to alliviate the poverty and cover all the people under the poverty line within the safety net of employment.

The new generation votes for AL with the hope that a change in the policy and opportunity would come to our country. ICT will give proper attention, internet facility will be extended, IT based job will be created.

Employment should be ensured for the young and business opportunity should be open for all.

Education must be more universal, standarised, uniform amd scientific. Divide between poor and rich, rural & urban must be lessened.Universities and colleges must be kept free from party politics.

Politics also must be kept away from government offices, secretariats, trade unions etc.

Hasina said people rejected the war criminals by voting and necessary legal action would be taken in due course. They must be cautious not to make the issue a mess and push some people to extremism.

Above all, AL would try to fulfill the pledges they have given in their manifesto and will proceed forward to attain their targets of vision 2021 and digital Bangladesh.

An ordinary citizen

Vote: Please cast ur vote to express ur expectation. U have multiple options.

A look into the defeat of BNP December 31, 2008

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On the reverse side of the coin of AL’s landslide win, there is the defeat of BNP, which is also unprecedented. This is the lowest ever performance of BNP.

It will not be unworthy exercise to explore the reasons of it’s defeat.

The landslide victory of BNP in 2001 for the second time after 1990 and its alliance with Jammat-e-Islami with 18 seats gave it a sense of complacence and led it to misrule and corruption. The image of the government also affected by the undue interference by sons and close associates of PM into the state administration.

The partisan politics of BNP also crosses the limit of one’s expectation. They manipulated the recruitment of PSC, altered the result of BCS, appointment and promotion of the university teachers, the selection of postgraduate courses in the medical colleges and BSMMU etc.

They also manipulated the judiciary and failed to fulfill their commitment to separate the judiciary.

During their period, the Muslim terrorist groups grew tremendously, though the leaders were ultimately caught and punished but the then government initially ignored the development.
The price of the essentials were also on the rise that they couldn’t contain.
The attempt of BNP to influence the composition of caretaker government and manipulate the election of 22/1 of 2007 also caused a permanent injury to the mind of the people. Failure of the first caretaker government to conduct a free and fair election also fell on BNP. Jamaat-e-Islami remain silent partner of all their misdeeds.

After 1/11, the new caretaker government’s mission to eliminate corruption also exposed the inner picture of the political leaders. Though leaders of both the parties were accused and put under jail, but it is BNP whose leaders were in large numbers were arrested. tried and jailed. People horrified by knowing their stories of corruption.

While the two leaders were in the jail or abroad, reformist in both the parties tried to win the stage. Though their effort had gone in vein, AL accommodated the reformists in their fold and showed signs of organizational maturity. BNP, on the other hand, though it was expected that the reformist would be accomodated with the party but it didn’t happen. Khaleda thought that her image is enough for the party. The representation of the party by a man like Khondoker Delwar Hussain, whose personal image and sons’ misdeeds was not acceptable to the people, has degrade more the state of the party to the eye of the people.

The delay-delaying tactics of the party for participating in the election also frustrated the people.

When the nomination came BNP choose to place their old party leaders many of whom were accused, arrested or convicted for corruption, extortion etc. Many of the leaders whose nominations were rejected by the EC, challenged the decision in the court and the reinstatement of the candidates in many of the cases also worried the people. The BNP nomination was such that as if it was throwing a challenge to the court and the people on the accusation and perception of corruption against party leaders.The failure of our judicial system to punish the corrupts also made the people to be cautious about their own judgement.

BNP didn’t bother to get the recommendation of the grassroots workers though some of their their leaders were claiming that they had done so. There was a contrast between the reality and the statement.

The manifesto that BNP had projected though lengthier but was more traditional and with no long term vision. The vision of 2021 and digital Bangladesh was well accepted by the new generation.

Khaleda Zia, had toured the country, from one corner to the other, but she didn’t come to Chittagong which also many of his supports longed and in her tour BNP didn’t uitilise the video conference technology at all.

In her speeches, Khaleda was more critical of the caretaker government,as if the CTG is her opponent, she was more suspicious of the certainty and fairness of the election in contrary to the people’s perception and she was less objective in criticizing AL past record and future agenda.

The arrogance of Jammaat-e-Islami regarding recognizing the liberation war and gradual rise of sentiment against the anti-liberation forces and awakening in the young to visit the past also went against BNP in the election.

An ordinary citizen


Please cast ur vote to evaluate the causes of defeat of BNP in the general election of December 29 2008. One can give multiple answers.

Bangladesh votes for change December 29, 2008

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10 pm, 29 Dec 2008

Early signs shows that AL and its alliance is going to have a landslide victory.
Bangladesh votes for change. People voted against the incumbent, against the corruption, against terrorism, against partisan politics. They opted for a long term change in the politics and governance of the country.

The new generation played a crucial role.They prefer the candidates over the parties.

Voters turned out in record numbers, more than 70%, an achievement in any standard.

People observe that this election is likely the best in Bangladesh. Peace and discipline was maintained to the best of expectation.

Voter list with photo perfectly supports the national event.

Election Commission deserves appreciation for the work they have done. They have shown tremendous perseverance and commitment to deliver a fair election. All the doubts against them about their neutrality and efficiency proved futile.

AL chief Hasina urges for calm and not to go for any procession or festivities until the final result is officially declared. So far all the result are unofficial.

BNP is hesitant to accept the result without complain. They are complaining of irregularities, vote rigging and harassment of their workers in many centers

People rejected Jamaat-e-Islami for its anti-liberation stand. Very few of their candidates may come out successful. May be none.

Alliance of Jatiya Party with AL will bring JP some good.

Some leaders of the left leaning parties may come to the parliament as a part of the alliance.

Links for news & result:

Daily Star

Prothom Alo


An ordinary citizen

Post script:
11 am, 30 December 2008
Result of 296 seats are available by now:AL-229, BNP-27,JP-27,JI-02,Others-11

No consensus on national issues before election December 28, 2008

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It was expected that the political parties would sit together before the election to have a consensus on the national issues but that didn’t happen despite the people’s aspiration.

Some of the advisers of the caretaker government tried to convince Hasina and Khaleda to sit together. Though initially both the leaders consented to sit together for a dialogue but ultimately that couldn’t be materialized for different political uncertainties. Barrister Rafiqul Hoque, the attorny of both the leaders for their cases in the higher court under emergency rule, who proposes the idea, later abandoned.

But more importantly, though the people, citizen groups and media were eager to see a dialogue held on national issues, but the parties were not sincerely think over the matter.

National issues such as recognising the reform processes of the present caretaker government, making the parliament effective, not calling hartal uncecessarily to jeopardise the public life and economic development, keeping the judiciary independent, continuing the ACC, EC, PSC as autonomous bodies etc,

The minimum consensus on national issues was necessary. It would have been easy if the dialogue on national issues happened before the election. Though the discussion after the election is not impossible, but as the loser in election in our country does not usually accept the result, the opposition tries to noncooperate with every effort of the government, developing a consensus among the political parties will be difficult.
But we hope that the culture will be changed this time and all will accept the verdict of the people and a national consensus may be developed in the first sessiond of the parliament.

An ordinary citizen

Contrast of campaign in Bangladesh election December 26, 2008

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General election is very close. The political parties are engaged in every effort to change the tide of the election in their favour.

Though there are many similarities in their strategies but there are differences also.

AL always longed for an election and was taking preparation with an eye for the election. Even when Hasina was in the jail, she opted for participating in the election.But on the other hand, BNP deferred their decision to participate in the election after the release of Khaleda.

AL preferred to start their campaign by declaring their manifesto in a grandiose manner in the lobby of Hotel Sheraton. BNP began their campaign by visiting the mazar of Hazrat Shahjalal at Sylhet. Hasina covered the incident by adjusting her visit on the day before declaring the manifeso.BNP also declared their manifesto on the following day after AL declared its manifesto. While the AL manifesto touches the philosophy, programs and long term vision of her government, BNP stresses more on the projects and programs for the next 5 years.

In selecting the candidates, AL started with the grassroots recommendations but later adjusted some of the candidates judging the candidatures of BNP and its alliances. BNP due to time constraint but more for its own party policy, chose the old stalwarts of the party.They didn’t even consider whether the candidate was accused or convicted on corruption, extortion etc. Rather they seems to throw a challenge to the caretaker government on their judgment. Many of the convicts and corrupts even joined the race with the verdict of the higher court once the final list of the candidates was declared.

Both the parties preferred to make alliance with the other parties. AL already had in 11 party which includes some small left leaning parties. But later, after interesting political drama, they added Jatiya Party , led by Ex President Ershad who is condemned in history for his 9 yr autocratic rule in 80’s. BNP was in alliance of 4 party with Jamaat-e-Islami and other two parties in their last government which they wanted to continue in this election also. The mathematical formula of winning of BNP with Jamaat in 2001 election actually prompted AL to form alliance with JP though the secular and democratic image of AL is compromised to some extent because of this.

Regarding the anti-libration forces, it preferred to continue its old alliance with Jamaat-e-Islami and is trying negate the idea as political propaganda. Sector Commander Forum identifies 15 candidates of JI who were involved in anti-liberation activities. The alliance of AL with Jatiya Party also tainted it compromise with the anti-liberation forces. 2 of JP candidates endorsed by great alliance of AL.

In the campaign speeches, though the two camps highlighting their manifesto promises, Khaleda keeps her main brunt criticising the failure of the present caretaker government, making allegation of conspiracy of vote rigging and protesting the attempt on her life. Hasina is more objective in pronouncing the party programs to the voters and declared that he ready to sacrifice her life for the country in the backdrop of the news of conspiracy of JMB for killing her. It is true that Khaleda has devoted more time and energy to cover more spaces than Hasina.

Both the parties told of using the internet and digital technology. But none use it to the maximum. AL, BNP and JI have upgraded their websites. BNP projected ads in the TV channels.Later, AL and JP also float their ads in the TV channels. Hasina also made some video conference in distant areas, but not flushed much in the media. Till now, I have got no message from any candidate but got a message to my mobile from Grameen Phone to vote for ‘joggo prarthy’.

Thanks GP. We are in favour of honest and competent candidates.

An ordinary citizen

Will new generation voters change the outcome of the election? December 25, 2008

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This time much is talked about the new generation voters. About 2.7 crore voters are new voters. Most of them are from 18 to 25 years of age. They were born in the late half of Ershad regime and brought up through the political regimes of the last 15 years and they have also seen the last two that was under a caretaker government.

This new generation, it is taken that, have little affiliation to the political parties. They have not voted yet in the general election and no particular symbol is not imprinted in their mind. They have seen how the political parties grow & behave over the last decades, they will able to compare between rhetorics of the leaders and reality of the ground.

They have seen how the partymen corrupt themselves, gave undue privilege to their own activists in recruitment, education and scholarship, shared the government money allotted for public works, forced people to pay the party workers.

They have also seen the rise of ant-liberation forces, how the political parties used them for their own purpose and how the anti-liberation forces shared the power with a major political party of our country.

They have seen how in the name of democracy, political autocracy was practiced here, how the real development of the country was sold to the luxury of a few people.

Though few people have been convicted due to weakness of our legal system and many of the convicts are also released to compete in the election, but a perception of the corrupts has been imprinted in the minds of the public.
They have seen how nominations are compromised to choose the corrupts, convicts and moneyed men.

They will rejects the convicts, corrupts, musclemen, patrons of the terrorists, anti-liberation forces and the inefficient.

But dilemma will arise when they will have to choose between a convict and a corrupt, between a corrupt and loan defaulter, between a convict and an anti-liberation forces.

It is good that the EC has added an option of Negative vote in this election. Many new generation voters will choose to vote in this category this time.

But in the next election, we hope that this vacuum of acceptable and competent candidates will be filled up by the new generation voters when many of them will cross the age of 25 to be a parliamentarian.

An ordinary citizen

Judiciary frustrates the Election Commission December 21, 2008

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A chamber judge of the appellate division of Supreme Court has ordered Election Commission to accept nominations of some convicted candidates recently after the final list of candidates were published by the Election Commission.[PA]The candidatures were earlier rejected by the EC as they were convicted for more than 2 years by the special court.

One of such candidates is Lutfuruzzaman Babar, Ex State Minister for Home who was convicted for seventeen years for keeping unathorised weapon in his possession. He has half a dozen more case against him.

The oder of the higher court has made the work of EC difficult.

Chief Election Commissioner in his reaction said that they will have to follow the order of the higher court. But the court has taken them as superman and they could accomodate any instruction at any time and even if it comes on the day of election they will accommodate.
When asked by the journalists whether court does not want election, he replied better to ask the court.[PA]

This court a few days back rejected the appeal of Nazmull Huda on the same ground and the Chief Justice along with two judges of the Supreme Court came to a decision that no more convict or loan defaulters will be allowed to compete in the election as the final list of candidates is published.

Interestingly one of the judges who was in the decision making in the morning later went against his own decision in the evening.[PA]

So far 21 new candidates will have to accommodate newly in the ballot papers. Old ballots of lakhs of Taka have to burn out and new ballot papers are required to publish. The complexity creates tremendous pressure on the EC and they are frantically searching the way out.

When the whole nation is waiting for a fair and free election and EC is trying to make a qualitative change in our system, the higher judiciary frustrates the Election Commission.

Along with the EC, people are also feeling frustrated. The frustration is magnified as the non-cooperation is coming, otherwise, from the seat of confidence. Here lies the agony of the common people.

An ordinary citizen