Thursday, July 18, 2019 | ePaper

People lost faith in hereditary leadership not in election

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It is not expected from the opposition political leaders believing in democracy to say that the people have lost faith in election. Election is people power and denying free election is the work of those who have no respect for the people's sovereignty over the government and the country. It amounts to treason under constitutional democracy. This is not to happen where the people are free. Without right to vote other rights are not protected. The people as worse as fully helpless.

The government in power had every interest to sabotage the election to continue in power. But that does not mean that the people have no faith in election. Election is the people's constitutional right to vote for forming their legitimate government.  Because of the people's power to vote that unpopular governments are afraid to face free election.

It is not fighting politics rather defeatist politics for the opposition supposed to be ready to fight for the people's democratic rights to say the people have lost faith in election.

The people are so badly treated by politics of hereditary leadership of monarchical kind that  the main opposition BNP's role in the last general election did not appear at all strong to resist or expose the government's blueprint for   not holding free and fair election.

It was not that the top leaders of the opposition Unity Front were not told that the votes would be cast and counted away from the polling centres. Keeping the army outside would be meaningless. The voters would have no part in deciding election victory. Yet, the leaders seemed to other ideas.

Now the question that should be asked: How faithful the opposition Unity Front was with the people for ensuring the election free and fair for the people. Their workers and others suffered openly police harassment, torture and imprisonment. These workers and local leaders were also bewildered that their leaders were swallowing all the wrongs happening in the name of election.

Stuffing the ballots by police was not a secret thing. It was done without a care that there is strong opposition unity under the banner of Unity Front. At its head was a great personality and constitutional specialist of international stature. Central leaders cannot honestly say that they did not know what the government would do for not facing the voters in a free election. The government made no concession to the leaders of the Unity Front whatsoever.

No clear strategy was laid out for the workers or their contesting candidates about how to deal with the government's act of election sabotage. On the contrary, the Front leaders appeared self-satisfied. After their election debacle also there was no serious or meaningful protest. So the election was accepted by default.

In politics when questions exist in public forum and not answered, the party breaks faith with the people. The defeated candidates did not care to come to Dhaka to meet the central leadership to know what had happened. This is not the way a major political party behaves.

Now the election politics is over not for the lack of people's faith in election but for omissions and weaknesses of the opposition leaders.

Whether for false hope or not the opposition leaders, in effect, collaborated with election slaughtering process. It remains a puzzle how the top most two leaders could say in one voice, without consulting other candidates that the election was being held fairly and expressed personal satisfaction. The question is how they could be so sure about the fairness of the election so easily and so quickly.

The decision of the standing committee of BNP was not to accept the election results and rejected the parliament as un-elected. Further, the minuscule few elected from the opposition will not join the unelected parliament.

Soon the decision was changed when Tarique Rahman from London decided otherwise and allowed their elected ones, too few to mention, to join the unelected parliament.

We on our part think the decision to join the parliament is justified because their leaders have proved no good for politics outside.

For a political party, a public explanation was necessary for changing the earlier decision. No such explanation was given. Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir did not join the parliament but continues as the secretary general of the party. It was also not felt necessary to tell the people the misty behind such quixotic decision on the part of the secretary general.

The general public are angry and frustrated that the right answers are not forth coming from BNP or Unity Front or the other big and brave leaders of the opposition.

The leaders and workers of BNP have to think hard whether they want to make it a genuine political party to fill in the political void in politics or it will remain under hereditary leadership of a family concern.

The people have lost faith in politics of family leadership and not in their right to have election to ensure their free choice as to who will be their government. Family politics is not real politics. This does not give dignity to politics.

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