Wholesale Vote Rigging in Local Elections: It is not the Death of Democracy as claimed by the Grieving Advocates of Democracy, rather it is Democracy

06 May, 2015

Elections for the posts of mayors and councilors in Dhaka North, Dhaka South and Chittagong City Corporations were held on April 28, 2015. Forty eight candidates contested for the three mayoral posts while there were 1,188 candidates in total for the post of councilors in the three corporations. Stained by accusations of widespread fraud, polling booth capture and voter intimidation in the presence of election officers and law-enforcing agencies, the Awami League-backed candidates have swept the elections in Dhaka and Chittagong.  
Wholesale vote rigging, ballot-stuffing and intimidation of voters by the government activists with the help of election officers and law enforcing agencies has led many pro-democracy intellectuals and politicians to say that Awami League government has hammered the last nail in the coffin of democracy in Bangladesh. Whereas we strongly want to say that what the nation has observed in the form of widespread electoral fraud is indeed the ‘real face of democracy’. We urge the Bangladeshi people to come out from this ‘trap of democracy’; a deliberate illusion created by the neo-colonial west to ensure the Muslim countries feed its insatiable appetite.   
This type of sham elections are not something new to the people of Bangladesh, for which Hasina is obviously not to be solely blamed. The BNP’s reigns were also marked by scandalous elections like Magura and Dhaka by-elections, which the then opposition Awami League claimed as rigged, and this has always been the phenomena throughout the democratic history of Bangladesh. And the most important feature of the ‘democratic circus’ is that the corrupt political parties and leaders have always been legitimized by the West for their own interests even if that needs the removal of the democratically elected parties from the power. This is what we saw in Algeria (with FIS) and in Egypt (with MB) where two publicly elected parties were blatantly forced to step down from power. Hence, election does not bring any good or any change under democracy. Rather it is ‘tool of political deception’ where people are as good as tissue to be disposed of immediately after the election, until the next one. This is the sad reality that we have been passing through since the destruction of our natural abode - the Khilafah - in 1924.     
Muslims need to take heed of these trickeries of the political elites in the name of democracy. History is the witness that moneyed and powerful have always siphoned money and power from societies only to serve their self-interest and greed, and this is the global ugly face of democracy. In the West they manipulate elections through mass indoctrination, controlling and limiting the people’s choice to only few parties and by making the people apathetic to politics among other means and in the Muslim world it is done through rigging and irregularities that we always see during these so-called elections. Therefore, mass people are always on the losing end under this man-made democracy, be it in the West or Muslim world. Let us not consistently make ourselves look foolish before the greedy democratic leaders and fall into the same hole over and over again. We must reject democracy and struggle to bring back Khilafah. RasulAllah (saw) said:

“A believer is not bitten from the same hole twice.” (Bukhari/ Muslim)

13 Rajab, 1436
02 May, 2015

Written for the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir by
Imadul Amin, Member of the Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir in Wilayah Bangladesh