Mahboob Ar Rahman
As the general election in Bangladesh is getting nearer, some dubious leaders of the ruling party seem to be getting impatient in making it controversial thus inviting criticism from home and abroad. Health and Family Welfare Minister Mohammad Nasim is possibly much eager in putting the government and the election commission into severe controversy instead of playing positive role which would ensure a free, fair and transparent election. While only on December 3, 2018, Obaidul Quader, the general secretary and one of the most influential ministers, during a press briefing in his constituency had clearly indicated that the Election Commission is nothing but a subservient element of the ruling party, Mohammad Nasim has now joined this trend by saying, upcoming parliamentary election will be a “tough battle” and their arch political rival Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) has already “lost in the first round” of this difficult election. According to Nasim, this defeat has become clear following cancellation of over one hundred nomination papers submitted by the candidates from BNP and its political allies.
But the entire world knows, the Election Commission has been playing extremely dubious role and the process of rejecting nomination papers of the BNP candidates thus accepting extremely faulty nomination papers submitted by the ruling Awami League and its political allies was nothing but a great sham and a direct threat to democracy.
The case of Syed Ashraful Islam:
Bangladesh Nationalist Party has rightly raised question about the acceptance of nomination paper submitted by Syed Ashraful Islam, a violent anti-US politician and former general secretary of the ruling party. It may be mentioned here that, couple of years back, Syed Ashraf had publicly compared the US ambassador to Bangladesh as “domestic help” and even had termed Nisha Desai Biswal, then assistant Secretary of State as minister worth “two penny.” He had never apologized for such cruel, undiplomatic and nasty comments.
Commenting on Ashraf’s nomination, BNP said, “Syed Ashraf is ill and now undergoing treatment at a Thailand hospital in a senseless condition, but his fingerprint and signature have been put in his nomination paper. How did those come?”
Yes, this is a question as to how Syed Ashraful Islam’s nomination papers were accepted by the Election Commission (EC). Does it mean, the EC is simply interested in holding another fake election in Bangladesh thus putting country’s democratic process into extreme dark?
The case of Mahi B. Chowdhury:
After military dictator Gen Hussein Muhammad Ershad and his funny Jatiyo Party, Mahi B. Chowdhury is another interesting character in Bangladeshi politics. His nomination papers were accepted by the EC despite the fact of him having several defaulted loan in the banks. Even representatives from the financial institutions were present during scrutiny of Mahi’s nomination paper and had notified the officials concerned of the Election Commission of his [Mahi Chowdhury] defaulted loans. But, EC had ignored this serious matter, simply because, it had determined of somehow and anyhow giving legitimacy to this dubious political character.
A delighted Mohammad Nasim:
Months back, soon after KM Nurul Huda was named as the Chief Election Commissioner in Bangladesh, Awami League leader Mohammad Nasim had declared the victory of his party in a public meeting saying, “referee has been finalized and now we shall win the election.”
The WikiLeaks discloser:
According to a leaked secret message sent by the US ambassador in Bangladesh, Mohammad Nasim has been termed as a “corrupt” politician. This communication was leaked by the WikiLeaks and had been published in a book named ‘Bangladesh In WikiLeaks’ [published by Prothoma Publications, Dhaka].
A controversial election:
By and large, the December 30 general election has already become totally controversial for exposed partisan role of the EC and unchecked statements of the ruling party leaders. International community will not get any good signal from such things and would most definitely believe – Bangladesh is all set for another fake general election.