Hungry for Absolute Power
Hasina government is staging another show in Bangladesh in the name of Union Council elections 2016
For the first time in the history of Bangladesh, Union Council elections see direct participation of political parties this year. Voting to be held country wide in six phases - starting from March 22 and ending on June 4, party activists are much agitated to prove the muscle power of participating opportunist politicians, whereas the majority populace are taking this hue and cry with caution and concerned mainly for their personal safety, security and well being.
The first three phases of this election cost more than 30 lives, hundreds of injured individuals and destruction of many houses and properties. Like all the previous elections, this election is also marred by vote rigging, selling nomination for money, illegal interference, and show down of muscle and money by the local and national politicians of the ruling party.
Local government in Bangladesh was never a strong institution to deal with local problems and issues. Rather, this system is used by the party in power to consolidate their dominance in the rural area. In the first three phases, ruling Awami League nominated candidates have mostly been elected and they have out numbered opposite party BNP by a big margin. Whether this result reflects Awami League popularity in the rural area is still debatable but it certainly confirms the fact that they have more muscle power and black money in the rural area.
There is no point whatsoever discussing the fairness and impartiality of the elections since it’s not going to bring about any change in terms of local government administration. The Hasina government has no intention to decentralise its power and confer any sort of autonomy to the local govt unit. Hasina government is effectively following Chinese communist party style where the Awami Local committee is actually running local administration. No police station in Bangladesh in the rural area dare to take or investigate a case without taking a prior permission from local Awami Committee chairman or secretary. As far as budget and autonomous authorities are concerned Union Council chairman is nothing more than a decorative post.
Sad part of this election is that general people are being victimised for a very cheap cause – namely Awami-BNP domination game with which there is no connection of socio-economic development or political emancipation.
Local governance system of any country is intrinsically connected with the central ruling system based on the same political ideology and philosophy. For Bangladesh it is a secular capitalist democratic system resulting elitism and selfish politics. Politics is seen here as a mere profession or profitable business. The Union Council election 2016 had it been free and fair in terms of vote casting would not make any change unless the very corrupt secular democratic system is uprooted and replaced by a just system of ruling - Islamic system under the leadership of righteous Khilafah (Caliphate) upon the method of the Prophethood.
Written for the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir by
Member of the Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir in Wilayah Bangladesh