May 11, 2005


With the overwhelming win of the opposition party(Awami League) candidate Mr. Mohiuddin in the Chittagong city corporation mayor election, it has become clear that the voters in still have power to choose. There was a strong ruling party campaign lead by many government ministers and high profile political leaders sadly at government expense. But the defeat of their designated candidate Mr. Nasiruddin, the current minister for aviation suggests that their confidence of popularity was disillusioned.

But I must say the BNP government has done the right thing in not trying to rig the election to bring it to their favour. Election engineering was being predicted and protested by the Opposition. Ironically Mr. Mohiuddin and the supporters had to stay the whole night outside the election commission camp where the vote was being counted to make sure that peoples' verdicts are not manipulated.

Nearly 2000 poll observers from both home and abroad were active during the polling and everybody termed the election fair albeit some minor irregularities and incidents. A large number of voters had turned out.

Now my take on this Mohiuddin feat for the third time is that he is basically a good and hard working leader and has contributed much for development of the Chittagong City. He is not a hard core party politician of Awami League. Being a mayor, many of his decisions were apolitical. So people had more trust on him.

I think the time has come for the people to loath party politics to bring Bangladesh out of the political dichotomy. They should vote for the right candidate irrespective of which party he/she belongs. And the political parties should appoint deserving candidates as their representative, not some crooked businessmen who pays large amount of cash in party fund only to recover them later.

Let this be a learning lesson for both the ruling coalition and specially the opposition, who termed this election as an index of pendulum swaying on their side. Its still a long way till October 2006 election. If they do not make the right decisions, they might be disillusioned too.

Related reading: Lessons from the election


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