Bangladesh heading towards one party dictatorship

Unchallenged national election has turned world’s third most populous Muslim nation into a repressive, de facto one-party state

Bangladesh heading towards one party dictatorship

Mohammad Talukder – Bangladesh

Since forming the government after the January, 2014 sham parliamentary elections boycotted by the all major political parties including principle opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and now banned Bangladesh Jamat-e-Islami (BJI). With the help of opposition free parliament the ruling Awami League (AL) is anchoring Bangladesh towards the one party dictatorship.

Prior to the election, all the opinion polls indicated that the incumbent AL would lose to the BNP in a direct contest. Anticipating the defeat in the elections, ruling Awami League party led by the current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina amended the constitution to abolish the law to hand over power to a non-partisan interim government or a caretaker government to conduct the free and fair election. Thus, unchallenged national election had already turned world’s third most populous Muslim nation into a repressive, de facto one-party state.

There are many noticeable traits of one party rule subsist in today’s Bangladesh. Ruling AL government is bent on silencing free speech and legitimate dissent, mass arrests of opposition activists, illegal detentions and extra-judicial killings are on the rise, ruling party goons are above the law, and citizens see the police and courts as more of a threat than a source of protection or disinterested arbitration. The freedom of the media has been at the bottom, the ruling clique has, in fact, created a suffocating situation resembling to al-Sissi’s Egypt.

In today’s Bangladesh there is no democracy in the country, the basic human rights have been robbed of. Opposition political parties are now denied all political rights enshrined in the country’s constitution. Law and order agencies and the courts are also under the complete control of the ruling party.

PM Shiekh Hasina has employed all the available tools to erroneously use the law enforcement agencies and judiciary to target political opponents and silencing critics.

Principle opposition leader and the chairman of BNP Khaleda Zia is under house arrest from almost three years, she is also facing several politically motivated court cases. Shiekh Hasina government has also executed many opposition leaders for alleged war crimes related to the Bangladesh war of Independence, most of the executed was either former ministers or ex -Members of Parliament.

In a bizarre case of political persecution, Ruling party activists filed more than 60 defamation and 17 sedition cases against Mahfuz Anam, the editor of the largest English-language daily,The Daily Star, for publishing uncorroborated corruption allegations against Sheikh Hasina in 2008.

In series of arrests, last week Bangladesh authorities arrested 82 year old journalist and one of Khaleda Zia's advisers Shafik Rahman, a prominent magazine editor for his suspected involvement in a conspiracy to kidnap and kill the son of the country’s Prime Minister.

Judiciary in the country is now acting as a veritable arm of the ruling clique; Judges are being appointed less for their qualifications and integrity than for their political reliability. Like other one party ruled dictatorships, ruling party in Bangladesh is now consolidating power through a manipulated criminal justice system.

Like other state organs in country, the Parliament in Bangladesh has now become a rubber stamp of PM Sheikh Hasina. There is no opposition voice present in the house and it is completely filled with the ruling party members and friendly opposition.

Holding free and fair, multi party election is the basic tenet of a parliamentary democracy, the last parliamentary election was neither free nor fair, and off-course not the multi party. It seems that Shiekh Hasina government is determined to continue to shut all the channels for democratic participation in the country. She appears pretty determined to carry on with the same anti-democratic autocratic approach in the scheduled parliamentary election to be held in 2019. Hence, she is hell bent for a long haul for one party dictatorship in Bangladesh.

It is quite obvious that Sheikh Hasina government has proved her governance as most intolerant in the history of Bangladesh. By usurping the rights and freedom of Bangladeshi people; she wants to reinforce one person dictatorship in Bangladesh rather than one party rule. She has made her party subservient to her whims and wishes as she did with the police, judiciary and other state organs. Such situation only leads to mass uprising which is presently contained with her suppression policy but that certainly cannot be contained for long.

Last Mod: 20 Nisan 2016, 14:55
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