November 10, 2008

Absolute power, nothing else

The December 18 general election is crucial for Bangladesh as it will bring the country in the track of democracy after a corrupt BNP rule, years of dysfunctional parliament because of mindless boycott from Awami League and violent protests.

While most of the parties are ready for election, BNP is trying to create more obstacles by asking more time for the submission of nomination papers. It wants its jailed and loan and utility defaulter old corrupt faces to run for them again. It feels that in this election their chances are slim and they could lose many seats in the bargain with the coalition partner Jamaat-e-Islami. So BNP wants to boycott election.

It is very sad to see that the BNP is not only refusing to apologize for the corruption and mistakes of their leaders but also bluntly demanding for their release so that they can contest in the election. Their 7 point demand is nothing but a glimpse of the confrontational politics which we have seen in the previous years.

While there is a rumor that the current caretaker government is favoring Awami League, I think people should this time be aware of the candidates before voting. People should vote for the candidates not only judging the party. We cannot let any party take the absolute power without accountability, which is bad for the country's politics. That is why BNP has to run the election to gather whatever seats they can, with whatever support they have.

But it seems they have decided for either absolute power or nothing. Bangladesh politics needs to grow up from this lunacy. Because we will head for confrontations straight away if BNP refuses to participate in the election.

And as for the convictions of corrupt leaders, the Economist has this to say:
The court cases against the two prime ministers have in effect been put on hold until the election. If the past is any guide, the next government will control the judiciary, so convictions will never happen. Observers believe that endless behind-the-scenes talks with the leaders, aimed at bringing their parties to the polls, are likely to have included guarantees by the two ladies not to put the losing rival in prison.
But then again what was the point in having those people behind the bars if we cannot set an example of accountability in the country?

I would like to see new parties, new leaders succeed in the mainstream politics. We had enough of the politics of acrimony and autocracies without accountability.

If anything Bangladesh could learn from the US election is that we need a leader who unites not divides the country across the party lines.


Post a Comment