Democracy’s no-show at Bangladesh’s elections

A Bangladeshi woman working at a government community centre shouts out names of other women registered to work at polling stations as security personnel in Dhaka on 4 January, 2014. The opposition led by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, boycott polls and called a 48 hour strike in a bid to torpedo the 5 January, general elections which were won by the Awami League. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Syeda Naushin Parnini, University of Malaya

Democracy in Bangladesh is paralysed. This was demonstrated at the so called 10th general election held on 5 January 2014, which failed to reflect the will of the Bangladeshi people. Instead, it was boycotted by the major opposition parties, the Bangladeshi Nationalist Party (BNP)-led coalition, and unilaterally ran by the incumbent Awami League (AL) in cooperation with the toothless Electoral Commission. Read more…

War crime verdicts and systemic fragility in Bangladesh’s democracy

Women demanding the execution of Jamaat-e-Islami leader Abdul Quader Mollah and others recently convicted of war crimes, in Dhaka, Bangladesh, 13 Feb 2013. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Syeda Naushin Parnini, University of Malaya

In Bangladesh, the government’s recent willingness to intervene in a verdict handed down by the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) indicates that the state is in dire need of robust and neutral institutions to safeguard its fragile democracy.

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Consolidating democracy in Bangladesh

Boats anchored to block the traffic on the banks of the River Buriganga in Dhaka, Bangladesh, 12 March 2012. Police stepped up security in Bangladesh capital after the main Bangladesh Nationalist Party and its key Islamist ally Jammat-e-Islami called for an anti-government protest demanding an independent caretaker government oversee elections. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Syeda Naushin Parnini, University of Malaya

Since Bangladesh achieved independence from Pakistan in 1971, democratic consolidation has faced various challenges.

Military and quasi-military governments have ruled the country for 15 of the 41 years since independence.

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