Bangladesh Takes on Political Dynasties

As part of a clampdown on corruption in politics, the army-backed caretaker government is taking on Bangladesh's two powerful political families, a move welcomed by many in the South Asian country.

Bangladesh Takes on Political Dynasties
As part of a clampdown on corruption in politics, the army-backed caretaker government is taking on Bangladesh's two powerful political families, a move welcomed by many in the South Asian country that long suffered from their brewing battles.

"These actions mean the government is now getting rid of the country's two dynasties," Ataur Rahman, a political science professor at Dhaka University, told Agence France Presse (AFP) on Thursday, April 12.

"They will have to go and take a break from politics."

Opposition leader and former premier Hasina Wajed was accused on Wednesday, April 11, of the murder of four people beaten to death during the bloody unrest late last year.

The 61-year-old leader of the Awami party, currently visiting the US, was accused earlier this week of extortion by a Malaysian company.

Hasina's arch-rival, outgoing premier Khaleda Zia has not escaped the government's clampdown either.

The leader of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) is under effective house confinement in the capital Dhaka.

"I think with a little persuasion, it can easily send them abroad," said Ataur.

Bangladesh has been under emergency rule since legislative polls, originally scheduled for January, were cancelled following months of turmoil between the two rivals.

The dispute brought the country, where nearly half of the 144 million population lives on less than a dollar a day, to the brink of anarchy with strikes paralyzing daily life and claiming the lives of at least 35 people.

Dynasties of the two rival ladies, known locally as the begums, have ruled the world third-largest Muslim majority country since independence from Pakistan in 1971.

Justice

The government's drive was hailed by ordinary Bangladeshis who bore the brunt of the two dynasties' bad politics.

"It's great that the government has finally gone after the begums," said Shahidul Islam Bacchu, an engineer.

"They should be sent abroad or banned from politics, as they have been the roots of our troubles," he added.

"The country has paid enough for their corrupt and dynastic politics. We need a break from our past and the government should start a new beginning."

The government, promising to carry out sweeping political reforms, has recently banned all political gatherings and arrested at least 50 top politicians.

Worn down after 16 years of brutal politics between Khaleda and Hasina, people felt relieved that the government is cleaning up the two ladies' dishonest politics.

"What we are seeing we could not have even dreamt of months back," said Fakhrul Islam, a development worker in the capital.

He believes that the crackdown on the political families was "natural justice".

For the last two decades, the two women alternated between being prime minister and opposition leader.

When one would boast a fair and clean election following a landslide victory, the other would complain of poll rigging and electoral fraud.

"For the first time in our history the corrupt politicians and their dynastic leaders are being hunted and punished."
Last Mod: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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