Bangladesh Rigged Polls Unacceptable to Opposition

elections bangladeshBy Zaheerul Hassan

More than 20 individuals were killed on January 5, 2014 General Elections of Bangladesh. The opposition parties totally boycotted and resultantly the elections marred by violence, killing and arrests of opposition leader. The agitators set fire to more than 80 polling stations and voting was suspended at more than 170 others. According to the ‘Daily Star’ reports most of the protestors have been shot dead by the security forces.

Khaleda Zia, leader of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist party (BNP), has rejected the elections called by Sheikh Hasina, the prime minister and head of the governing Awami League. She declared it engineered elections which were conducted just after the death of innocent judicious murder of Abdul Qadir Mullah’s of Jaamat e Islami. “No one at home and abroad will legitimise this farce of an election,” Ms Zia stated from her house, where she is under house arrest for boycotting an election. In fact the international human rights organizations declared these elections unfair and flatly condemned the government’s actions of putting opposition leader in house arrest during elections days.

Thus, Ms Hasina Wajid victory would be certain because 153 of the 300 parliamentary seats are uncontested and will automatically be won by her party and its allies. Hasina is known for her pro Indian policies and always avoided kept silent over core Bangladesh issues with India. In fact the majority of people and opposition leaders openly started criticizing her tilted approach towards New Delhi. She also terribly failed in uplifting of poorer lives in her ongoing government terms. The security situation ended into worse since couple of months. As result, the foreign investors stopped financing further in the popular garment manufacturing sector. The businessmen   have long been frustrated by the intense personal rivalry between the two women, known as the “battling begums”. But independent political anaylsed openly feel that Hasina Wajid remained unsuccessful in moving economy graph upward since couple of years. She also damaged the impartialness of Bangladesh, when her government did not categorically condemn the brutality of Muslims in Burma.

During my recent stay of Saudi Arabia, 34 years old young Bangladeshi Hanif while talking to me very openly criticized his country’s foreign policy. He stated that Hasina is expanding gulf between tow Muslim nations on the direction of Indian government. He alleged that her government is playing in the notorious South Asian Intelligence agency RAW.  He was worried about his family in Bangladesh because of continuous declining economy.

Anyhow, the political and security situation in the coming days would be further deteriorating due to rigged elections.

The only way-out for Hasina Wajid is to first resign and establish a caretaker national government for re-conduct the elections under the supervision of independent observers of UN. She must seek apology over the judicious murder of Abdul Qadir Mullah and released the political leaders.  The fair elections under Hasina government might not be possible. Therefore, UN and international community should pressurize Hasina Wajid to stop bloodshed of her own nations and arranged the fresh elections for the permanent democracy.

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