Tuesday, May 17, 2005

BANGLADESH: Opposition Struggles for Political Reform

Constitution has been amended in Bangladesh to even alter its basic nature. Ershad went as far as to remove the word secularism from the constitution. But the ruling coalition is rigid this time seeing its obvious advantage. However, here it should be also useful to keep in mind that elections are a costly affair especially for the poor south Asian countries. They should be able to throw a stable government that is generally accepted as true representative of the people. Bangladesh is a country that is known for hartals (strikes). If the elections are not fair, then the losing party will go for endless strikes. It will cause great losses to the country and its economy. The two main parties have been continuously locked in internecine battle to achieve supremacy over each other. This has provided space for the Islamists to grow, who were once hated in Bangladesh politics. In fact, in last few years, the following of Islamists has grown to such as extent where they have been able to swing the electoral balance. In these circumstances, a fair election might help the country to some extent by providing a stable government which would be generally considered representative.

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