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Dhaka Tribune

A smooth ride in the coming year?

Update : 10 Feb 2014, 06:45 PM

For some, it may not be easy to accept. For many, it has been a surprising triumph for the ruling party and its allies, and for a few, it is indeed a remarkable success. I am talking about the recent pre- and post-election issues and events.

Whether the Awami League leader and her colleagues deserve a pat on the back might be a matter of debate, but they have, by all means, managed to overcome the stumbling blocks that came their way in the run up to the polls of January 5.

Politically, the AL-led alliance has been doing their homework for some time now. They were seriously working on the details of the constitutional clauses that allowed them to take refuge under the pages of the state document, while sidetracking the moral issues of democracy.

Even the debate over morality is gradually taking a backseat. It will fade out soon. The government is already up with so many development and political programs in hand, that people and experts will hardly find the time to ponder over past issues.

They will be served with newer plans and concepts that will keep them busy working on the current programs, and they will give their opinions on these. So the door is almost shut on the last polls and related matters.

A side has been saying that the caretaker government system is actually unconstitutional and should be done away with. Many are of the opinion that the system is a practice of mistrust and disregard to the very mechanism of democracy. However, Bangladesh’s only acceptable elections have come under a caretaker system.

The Hasina government has forced the 10th national polls under a ruling government. This will be the pattern for all future elections, says the AL. If you talk about the current practice around the world, it may be true.

But I guess Bangladesh is not ready to accept polls unless held under a non-partisan caretaker system at the centre.

But there has to be transition. The AL government has done that, maybe not exactly in a democratic manner. It has wisely used its majority power in the parliament.

It has reverted to a polls system under the incumbent government. It has managed to neutralise (or paralyse) the stronger section of the Jatiya Party. Ever since Ershad’s fall, conviction, and jail terms, he has been in the soup, never really finding anything compatible with this plans and thoughts.

Even his party men were tentative in their allegiance towards him. If JaPa existed this long, it was mainly due to AL support and pampering.

The final nail in the coffin was Ershad’s trip to CMH just prior to the January 5 polls. No one knew that this was to be the last journey of this man from the political world.

It has successfully kept Begum Zia and her men out of the circuit for some time now. More steps will be planned to keep heavyweights busy with legal issues, rather than concentrating on political programs against the government.

There have been calls from government party members and supporters that Begum Zia should also be brought under the confines of the law, especially in the arms haul case. They opine that Begum Zia, being the then head of government, and having had knowledge of the entire operation, was also guilty.

Maybe the government apparatus might drag Begum Zia to the hallways of the court. There are scores of other cases coming up against senior members of the party. One is already facing ACC flak over the alleged illegal possession of his Gulshan house. Another is under focus for alleged money laundering. Yet another is a suspect over receiving kickbacks from a foreign company against a business favour.

The holding of upazilla polls will also help. The government maintains that the BNP’s choice to participate in the upcoming local polls proves that it has tacitly recognised the present government’s legitimacy. Whether the government will welcome the challenges of BNP-backed candidates is not known.

Since all sectors have acquiesced a little too soon, there seems to be no threat to the AL’s power or actions. We should perhaps wait for 2015 to deliver something new. 

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