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6 January, 2019 10:41:17 AM

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Hoping for political stability as the Year 2019 begins…

Bangladesh needs a strong opposition inside and outside parliament. One party rule, regardless of being good or honest, will not be beneficial for the nation
Abdul Gaffar choudhury
Hoping for political stability as the Year 2019 begins…

This New Year has brought a new era for Bangladesh. It was apprehended that combined non-democratic forces would win the election of 30th December that would drag the country back to the situation after 2001’s election.

Thanks to our people’s political vigilance and sense of responsibility that the Awami League led great alliance has won the election for the third time. This was a great assurance for the people of Bangladesh in that the values of the war of Independence were saved. The economic development led by Hasina government will continue uninterrupted. The communal and fundamentalist forces, who are deadly against secular Bangladesh, have been defeated yet another time. Many political observers hope that the unfinished task of our Liberation War is in the process of completion.
In spite of landslide victory, a new Hasina government has to face further challenges at home and abroad. The defeated anti-people forces in our country are still trying to sabotage this victory by conspiring in several ways. The newly recruited leader of the anti-Awami forces, Dr. Kamal Hossain, has already declared that they do not accept the result of this election. While I am writing this, information from Dhaka on BNP undecided about participating in the parliament has reached me. If they do not join the parliament, the previous situation will prevail – a parliament without a real opposition. Of course, BNP did not gain the number of seats to allow them to form an opposition. Yet their presence in the parliament would have contributed to the democratic process.

In their absence, Ershad’sJatiyo Party, with their twenty members, may try to form an opposition. If they join the cabinet, then there will be a precarious situation in that they will not be treated as an opposition but as a part of the incumbent government. Democracy cannot properly function without a real opposition. Dr. Kamal Hossain and his Unity Front has said that they will not accept the election results, but there is not much they can do about it, since the people have already given their verdict. Dr. Kamal or his front never led a people’s movement. They have always depended on foreign support. Before this election, BNP tried to woe the support of Modi’s government of India, to help them into being in power, which they couldnot get. Dr. Kamal Hossain and his so-called civil society, tried to influence western powers to help them overthrow Sheikh Hasina from power, but could not succeed since the world leaders know that this opposition to Hasina government are spent up forces.
Dr. Kamal Hossain himself could not win a single election. This time, his party won only two seats and there is rumour that one of them will re-join Awami League. BNP’s association with Jamaat and other terrorist groups could not win either people’s support or the support of the outside world. In this scenario, Sheikh Hasina’s courage, leadership and achievements, have made her an acceptable leader of the nation in the eyes of the rest of the world. If Dr. Kamal Hossain and the BNP front truly believe in democracy, they should accept the present election result and join the parliament.
Their allegation was that their supporters were obstructed by police from casting their vote at the polling stations. In the modern world, in a large parliamentary election, such obstructions cannot stand ground in the face of people’s mighty will to vote. Foreign observers also praised the election procedure of Bangladesh and the leading countries of the world have congratulated Sheikh Hasina for her victory. Dr. Kamal should have been the first man to congratulate Sheikh Hasina and accept the defeat. That would have increased his credibility as a democratic politician. Now, rejected by people, at this age, he will have to retire to political wilderness.
History teaches us that if we have the courage to accept the biggest defeat it will one day reap a greater victory.
In India, during Indira Gandhi’s tenure, BJP got only two seats in Lok Sabha, but now BJP has captured the parliament with overwhelming majority with Modi being the unchallenged Prime Minister. In West Bengal, Jyoti Basu was the only Communist member of the provincial assembly. Within a few years, he became the Chief Minister of West Bengal with the largest majority of Left Front and continually ruled the state for thirty years. Today BNP may have gotten only five seats, but who can say that they will not come to power in the next election with absolute majority? Without remaining in the democratic process, BNP will be outcast from the politics of Bangladesh and may embrace the fate of Muslim League.
Without mass support, to launch a movement is almost impossible. Awami League overthrew BNP government in 1996 by people’s movement. In 2013, BNP failed to build up a movement against Awami League. By resorting to terrorism, they failed more miserably, because they had no public support behind them. Today it is proved beyond doubt that BNP could not regain mass support, without which any movement against the government will not bear fruit and will not even get the support of their own party members. BNP may resign into oblivion. At present, they neither have mass support nor a strong position as a political party. BNP’s dependency on Jamaat will only make Jamaat stronger while weaken BNP’s political ground.
Bangladesh needs a strong opposition inside and outside parliament. One party rule, regardless of being good or honest, will not be beneficial for the nation. ‘Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely’ – we should always remember this proverb. Awami League should help the new generation to build up an alternative political force, to create a healthy and democratic opposition, which will be loyal to the spirit of ’71 and head towards national integrity instead of divisive policies. In the meantime, after this victory, people will look towards Sheikh Hasina’s leadership with the hope that she will reign over the nation maintaining a healthy democracy and overcome all the obstacles in the way to lead Bangladesh towards being a developed democratic country, and make her mark in national history.

London, Thursday, 03 January 2019.

SHK

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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