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    Posted January 16, 2014 by

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    The Upcoming Political Crisis of Bangladesh

    Bangladesh is certainly unlucky in natural aspects, it has no natural resources and victim of natural disaster, but unfortunately the country is unlucky in it's political culture as well.
    Since the restoration of democracy in 1991, two largest parties failed to build trust on the rules of transferring power.
    Bangladesh Awami League (AL) refused to enter any election under former ruling party Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and called Strike for 173 days between 1993-1996 by demanding a neutral Caretaker government to hold the election.
    Caretaker government is a arrangement where ruling party leaves their position and transfer power to a interim government, who's major task is to held the election. The Caretaker government was comprised with several advisers under former Chief Justice.
    AL was successful to achieve their demand while BNP was reluctant to accept Caretaler system on the ground of its legitimacy, their argument was, "its not a elected government".
    However, election in 1996 & 2001 held under caretaker system and AL & BNP both won election respectively.
    In 2006 AL refused to accept a Former Justice, K.M Hasan as the head of Caretaker Government, because in the 1980's he had affiliation with BNP. Later Bangladesh experience horrible political conflicts in the street and as a result President declared emergency and a military backed caretaker government stayed in and excersiced power beyond their constitutional rights.
    After 2 years, that government arranged election and current ruling party AL came to the power.
    In 2011, in a ruling, supreme court bench declared Caretaker government undemocratic and asked to abolish it with a suggestion that as there is lack of trust in the power transfer system between political parties, government may keep it for maximum two more terms.
    But the AL government which is holding an absolute majority in the parliament abolished the system as a whole and amended the constitution immediately.
    Since then, the current opposition BNP, once who opposed caretaker system started to demand it back in the constitution in another name as they do not see any reason to believe that a free & fair election could be possible under the present government. They also noticed court's ruling which suggested to keep it for two more terms.
    So, now we have a situation.
    The current parliament will expire in October. If country need to restore caretaker system or any other system to arrange a neutral election, then constitution amendment through the parliament is required, but the government is reluctant to do so.
    Prime Minister recently announced that she will not 'move an inch' from the constitution. The election will be held anytime between 24th October to 24th January under this government and present parliament and cabinet will be kept as it is which will help election commission to hold a free & fair election.
    BNP declared that current election commission is unable to hold any free & fair election, and no one believe that while Prime Minister, Ministers and Member of parliaments will be in their position, any neutral election is possible.
    As the situation is very grieve, UN-EU and Civil Society of Bangladesh is trying to negotiate between both parties. But, the government seems very rigid on their agenda of holding election under their rule.
    As we can predict that, if the political parties can not find out a solution in the next 2 months, political violence will rise up to sky high, peoples life and assets will be destroyed and socio-economical life will be paralyzed.
    So, by keeping the supreme court's suggestion on mind, the government must reconcile and may find a solution by opening dialogue with opposition parties. A interim coalition government where all the major parties may have representatives could be a solution.
    But, whatever the solution may be, first of all the political parties must open dialogue between them, the government must not hold their rigid position.

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