Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina actively encourages the involvement of ” independent candidates ” to inject a competitive spirit into the electoral process, thereby affording citizens the opportunity to select from a diverse pool of potential candidates.
This directive from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, issued on November 26, underscores her commitment to ensuring a vibrant democratic process. During a meeting with aspiring candidates at Ganabhaban, preceding the announcement of Awami League’s lineup for the upcoming 12th parliamentary election, she articulated, “No one can pass without competition.”
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This proclamation serves as both a challenge and a safeguard against uncontested victories, as Sheikh Hasina cautioned aspiring candidates that action would be taken against anyone elected without a genuine contest. Her emphasis on competitive elections aligns with the broader objective of fostering a healthy and participatory democracy.
Moreover, in a strategic move to infuse a festive ambiance into the electoral process, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has directed the Awami League to extend support and encouragement not only to candidates bearing the “boat” symbol, emblematic of the party, but also to independent candidates or those representing other political entities. This inclusive approach aims to celebrate the diversity of voices within the democratic framework, reinforcing the notion that democracy thrives when all citizens are actively engaged in the electoral process.
Empowering Citizens Through the Right to Vote
In a democratic nation, the fundamental right of citizens to exercise their voting power stands as a cornerstone of their participation in the political process. This commitment is underscored by the words of the prime minister, affirming the significance of citizens’ voting rights in the democratic fabric.
As the nation gears up for the electoral fervor, concerns arise about the potential dampening of festive spirits if independent candidates face no competition. The festive mood of the populace, integral to the democratic process, may be compromised when candidates encounter minimal opposition. Furthermore, the selection of Members of Parliament without engaging in competitive contests raises questions about the authenticity of their representation. This, in turn, poses a challenge to the very essence of a democratic system.
To fortify the establishment of a government truly representative of its citizens, the prime minister places special emphasis on the critical role of voting power. Her poignant declaration echoes a profound truth: “We have no other guardian other than the people of the country… Being a daughter of the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, I’m not engaging in the politics of sycophancy to cling to power.”
This powerful statement not only reaffirms the government’s allegiance to the people but also disavows any form of political subservience for the sake of power retention. It aligns with the noble pursuit of upholding democratic principles, ensuring that leaders are accountable to the very citizens who entrust them with the privilege of governing. In essence, the prime minister’s words serve as a beacon, guiding the nation towards a democracy where the voice of every citizen resonates in the corridors of power, safeguarding the essence of a government truly by and for the people.
Independent Candidates: a Strategy
The concept of independent candidates has transcended its mere electoral function and assumed a pivotal role in the strategic framework of Awami League. This unconventional approach, acknowledged by Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader, is not merely a happenstance but a calculated political strategy designed to identify and promote potential Members of Parliament (MPs).
Quader emphasizes that the inclusion of ‘ independent candidates’ is a deliberate and well-thought-out decision, positioning it as a key component of Awami League’s dynamic political strategy. He elaborates on the party’s adaptive nature, asserting, “Awami League is advancing, adapting its strategy to the evolving needs of the time. The inclusion of independent candidates is in complete accordance with the guidance of the party chief, Sheikh Hasina.”
This intentional departure from conventional election practices underscores Awami League’s commitment to agility and responsiveness. Quader’s statement reflects the party’s proclivity for strategic evolution, recognizing that political dynamics demand a nuanced and flexible approach.
As the nation eagerly anticipates the impending election, the resonance of this strategic decision reverberates not only among party leaders and activists but also captures the attention of the entire populace. The unfolding election season becomes a stage where Awami League’s strategic maneuvering takes center stage, inviting anticipation and speculation from a nation on the cusp of a crucial democratic exercise.
Huge Competition Expected
The electoral landscape is poised for an intense showdown as a formidable array of 26 parties gears up to participate in the upcoming polls. The diverse spectrum includes prominent players such as the Awami League, Jatiya Party (Manju), Bangladesh Samyabadi Dal, Krishak Shramik Janata League, Gonotantri Party, Bangladesh National Awami Party, Workers Party of Bangladesh, Bikolpodhara Bangladesh, Jatiya Party, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (Inu), Zaker Party, Bangladesh Tarikat Federation, National People’s Party, Gono Front, Bangladesh Jatiya Party (Mukit), Islamic Front Bangladesh, Bangladesh Kalyan Party, Islami Oikya Jote, Bangladesh Islami Front, Bangladesh Muslim League, Bangladesh Sangskritik Muktijote, Bangladesh Nationalist Front, Bangladesh Congress, Trinamool BNP, Bangladesh Nationalist Movement, and Bangladesh Supreme Party.
Several major political players have wasted no time in unveiling their lineups, signaling the commencement of a spirited electoral race. Jatiya Party, as a key opposition force, has disclosed its candidates for an impressive 287 Jatiya Sangsad constituencies. The Liberal Islamic Jote, a robust alliance led by the Bangladesh Supreme Party (BSP), has meticulously chosen candidates for 121 constituencies, positioning itself as a significant contender. The Bangladesh Nationalist Movement (BNM) has solidified its stance with the confirmation of 20 candidates set to vigorously compete in the electoral arena. Meanwhile, the Trinamool BNP has declared its intent to nominate candidates for all 300 constituencies, reinforcing its commitment to comprehensive participation in the electoral process.
With the stage set for this diverse and expansive array of political contenders, the electorate eagerly anticipates a dynamic and competitive electoral season, marked by the clash of ideas and visions that will shape the future trajectory of the nation.