- 30 out of 44 registered parties to contest in polls
- 2,741 nomination forms submitted in 300 constituencies
- 30 senior BNP leaders will contest in polls, defying BNP’s stance
- BNP’s one-point movement crumbling
Bangladesh elections’ wheel now rolling in full gears as 30 of 44 registered parties submitted nomination to contest in the polls amid much festivity and enthusiasm.
Despite Bangladesh Nationalist Party’s all-out effort and their open announcement to thwart the election, the party could have inflicted little impact to the political arena.
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BNP’s senior leaders, allies’ bids adieu to the party, make BNP more isolated and groundless with their demand.
However, destructive movements like Hartal-Blockades still continue and spur sabotage like activities not fully stopped though largely under control.
Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader on December 2 said that the train of the 12th parliamentary election is already running, and it won’t stop until it reaches its destination.
“Though BNP is not participating as a party, 30 former MPs, including 15 central leaders [of the party], are taking part in the polls.”
“A festive atmosphere is prevailing… It’s not about whether one or two parties are taking part in the election; now it’s more about the people’s participation.”
The Election Commission’s recent revelation that a staggering 2,741 nomination forms have flooded in for the 300 parliamentary seats sets the stage for a dynamic and competitive electoral process scheduled for January 7 next year.
Expressing his views with Press Xpress, Dhaka University Professor Md. Abdur Rahim, PhD said, “Every political party has the right to participate or boycott elections. Several political parties including Mawlana Bhashani’s NAP weren’t participate in 1970 election, which is considered as the most credible election to date.”
“This 12th general election is not different. The election will be participatory if voters can cast their vote amid festivity. 30 political parties and many more BNP’s senior leaders are contesting in the polls. So, undoubtably, January 7 election will be participatory and competitive. But it would be more competitive if BNP participated in polls.” He added.
As per the polls schedule, nominations submission date is over on November 30 and no way remains open for BNP or some other parties to submit nominations form now.
But the election commission reiterated their promise that some scope still open (to reschedule the election), if BNP comes to the electoral process.
“If needed or if there is a scope to accommodate them [BNP], we will reschedule it [the election],” Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Habibul Awal said on November 26.
Pseudo-Tiger’s Roaring Make Jokes!
BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir repetitively warned that they would not allow any elections without the caretaker government and the resignation of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
“We will force this government to resign and hold elections under a neutral non-party government through uniting all the forces,” he said.
The party leaders even declared several days like December 10 last year, October 28 as the final day of the government and some leader boast that the country would run as per the BNP’s acting-leader Tarique Rahman’s directives.
But nothing happened.
After unsuccessful grand rally on October 28, BNP’s politics takes a sudden turn as the party declared to go for destructive movement like Hartal-Blockade and a resume of arson-terrorism like they did in 2014 and 2018.
At least 11 citizens including one policeman and a journalist died in BNP’s simultaneous violent victims and hundreds of public vehicles were torched.
BNP’s activist also vandalized chief Justice’s residence and throwed crude bombs in court premises in Dhaka, Rajshahi.
But yet, the party could not gain any momentum in their ongoing movement as people keeps their daily life activities normal defying hartal-blockade.
Bus, Train, Launch movements remain operative as usual and BNP’s hartal get stuck in leap service and torching some vehicles at pre-dawn darkness.
However, a number of BNP senior leaders are in jail for their involvement in arson attack, killing police official and trying to impede the electoral process.
The remaining few, including BNP’s senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi, now threatening to unseat the government and stop electoral wheels in their everyday leap-service video without any significant movements on the ground.
The roaring now seems jokes and people feel tired of hearing repetitive jokes every day.
BNP Struggles with its Fractured Body
BNP is in shamble after sustaining shockwaves as senior BNP leaders deserted the party and joined the electoral process.
A significant number of BNP leaders in different tiers have become increasingly frustrated on BNP’s harsh one-way leadership and failure of ongoing violent movement.
The upcoming election sees the participation of 30 former MPs, including 15 central leaders of the BNP.
This contingent comprises eight central and seven district-level leaders, whose departure has created significant waves within the BNP, causing a noteworthy shift in its leadership landscape. Among the prominent figures exiting the party are BNP Vice Chairman Shahjahan Omar, Chairperson’s Advisory Council Member Syed AK Ekramuzzaman, Weaver Affairs Assistant Secretary Rabeya Siraj, and Executive Committee members Mohammad Abu Zafar, Shah Shaheed Sarwar, Matiur Rahman Montu, Khandkar Ahsan Habib, and AKM Fakhrul Islam.30 former MPs, including 15 central leaders of BNP, are not taking part in the election as a party. These include, eight central and seven district-level leaders
Another blow to the fractured body, some organizations including Bangladesh Nationalist Movement (BNM), Trinamool BNP have emerged in the scene. Those parties formed mostly with former BNP leaders and activist and now become a real threat to the BNP’s existence.
This mass departure raises questions about the internal dynamics and cohesion within the BNP. The absence of these central and district-level leaders undoubtedly impacts the party’s strategic direction and regional representation. The BNP now faces the challenge of not only filling these leadership gaps but also addressing the underlying issues that may have contributed to this significant reshuffling.
Why Election Boycott is Bad Idea for BNP?
The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) has a lengthy history of engaging in and abstaining from electoral processes.
Expressing apprehension regarding the integrity and openness of the electoral process, the BNP chose to refrain from participating in the 2014 elections but participated in the 2018 parliamentary elections.
And in 12th general elections, they opted non-participation approach.
BNP’s boycott strategy carries inherent risks. Many voters may interpret this type of election boycott as the party’s organizational weaknesses or unwillingness to engage in the democratic process. They might perceive the BNP as a party that prioritizes its interests over the needs and aspirations of the people. Due to this negative perception, support for the BNP may decline among those who value active participation in the political process.
The party aims to mitigate the risk of electoral defeat by abstaining from contested elections, which could further undermine its political standing.
By boycotting elections, the BNP’s representation in the local and national government system diminishes, depriving its leaders and workers of opportunities to voice their perspectives on policy adoption and implementation in local governance. This lack of direct representation can hinder the party’s ability to enact its agenda and diminish its overall influence on policymaking.
Consequently, a significant portion of the population believes that boycotting the election to pressure the government will yield no positive outcomes for them. Simultaneously, the party’s non-participation allows BNP’s competitors to establish a monopoly, potentially bolstering their presence in the political landscape.
More importantly, BNP’s boycott stance leads to further split inside the party as a number of key BNP leaders left the party and joined others platforms which replacing BNP as the opposition forces.