CWA Commentary

Photo Source: Dhaka Tribune
   NIAS Course on Global Politics
National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS)
Indian Institute of Science Campus, Bangalore
For any further information or to subscribe to GP alerts send an email to subachandran@nias.res.in
Print Bookmark

CWA # 68, 16 December 2018

South Asia Monthly Brief (Nov 2018)
Bangladesh

  Sourina Bej
Research Associate, ISSSP, NIAS

The Countdown:  Who stands Where?

The political landscape in Bangladesh is charged with the electoral campaign. The vote bank tussle between Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and Awami League, the incumbent government, has reached a new ground with the imprisonment of the BNP chief Khaleda Zia thereby leaving the space for fierce opposition relatively weak. In this political context, how has the election campaign unfolded with just few weeks left for the V-Day.

Removing Khaleda from Campaign Trail

The Bangladesh High Court on 27 November pronounced that convict sentenced to more than two years in jail cannot contest the election, even if an appeal is pending. This observation bars BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and his son from participating in the election. This has left the BNP to search for a strong coalition against Awami League.

Bangladesh’s centre-right opposition party, Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), clinched a deal with Kamal Hossain, an 82-year-old secular icon, raising its hope to end the ruling Awami League’s decade-long rule. With Khaleda Zia being deemed ineligible to contest the polls, this step comes across as a desperate step to remain afloat in the election.  Hossain formed a new party in the early ‘90s, having fallen out with Hasina. Since then, he has worked on human rights issues. During the centre-right BNP’s 2001-2006 tenure, he was one of its fiercest critics. He was particularly vocal about the then government’s failure to protect minorities. The Jatiya Oikya front, a 20-party alliance led by 81-year-old Dr Kamal Hossain, had echoed BNP’s demand for a caretaker government to take over in the weeks heading into the polls.

In response to the demand, Bangladesh poll authority deferred the date for next month’s general elections by a week from December 23 to December 30.

Awami League Struggle Dissidents Within

At least 70 Awami League leaders have filed nomination papers as independent candidates from 43 constituencies in 21 districts, defying the party high command's repeated warnings of punitive action for going against party nominees. They sought candidacy alongside their party-nominated candidates. On the other hand, the BNP appears to be in a better position with fewer dissidents. One of the reasons behind this is that the party fielded multiple candidates in almost all constituencies. According to the Election Commission data, 696 BNP leaders submitted nomination papers from 295 constituencies on the party ticket.

BNP’s completed its distribution of nomination letters by 27 November 2018.The party picked two candidates for almost every constituency as it started handing out nomination letters to aspirants for 240 seats. The other 60 seats were reserved for allies including the components of the Jatiya Oikyafront.

Jamaat Resumes Political Activities

After a brief political stint, Jamaat has resumed its political activities but has run into contestation with its ally BNP over the party symbol. BNP and its 20-party alliance member Jamaat-e-Islami engaged in a day-long drama on 29 November over the allocation of electoral symbols for the upcoming 11th parliamentary election. Jamaat aims to contest election under BNP’s symbol in 25 constituencies.

Print Bookmark

Other CWA Publications

Global Politics
June 2021 | CWA # 497

Gurpreet Singh

India and the geopolitics of supply chainsĀ 

read more
Europe
June 2021 | CWA # 496

Chetna Vinay Bhora

Spain, Morocco and the rise of rightwing politics in Europe over immigration

read more
Southeast Asia
June 2021 | CWA # 495

Anju Joseph

Timor Leste: Instability continues, despite 19 years of independence

read more
The World This Week
June 2021 | CWA # 494

GP Team

G7, NATO and Biden-Putin summits, and the Iran elections

read more
Conflict Weekly 75
June 2021 | CWA # 493

IPRI Team

Three new reports on Child labour, Ethiopia and Xinjiang, Tensions in Belfast, and the Suu Kyi trial

read more
The World This Week
June 2021 | CWA # 492

GP Team

G7 Summit, China's new anti-foreign sanctions law, Peru Elections, and France's Sahel exit

read more
Conflict Weekly 74
June 2021 | CWA # 491

IPRI Team

The UN report on Taliban-al Qaeda links, Denmark on relocating refugee camps, Burkino Faso massacre, Arctic melt, and Afghan trilateral dialogue

read more
China's new dams in the Yarlung Tsangpo
June 2021 | CWA # 490

Sarthak Jain

India should invest in technology to meet China's water challenge

read more
Nepal's Political Crisis
June 2021 | CWA # 489

Sourina Bej

Fresh election-call mean unending cycle of instability

read more
Afghanistan
June 2021 | CWA # 488

Vibha Venugopal

The return of Taliban will be bad news for women

read more
Supply Chain Resilience Initiative
June 2021 | CWA # 487

Dincy Adlakha

The SCRI will fail before it takes off, for three reasons

read more
Israel-Palestine Conflict
June 2021 | CWA # 486

Udbhav Krishna P

Revisiting the recent violence: Three takeaways

read more
Taiwan, the US and China
June 2021 | CWA # 485

Joeana Cera Matthews

For the Economist, Taiwan is the most dangerous place. The argument is complicated

read more
China and Australia
June 2021 | CWA # 484

Keerthana Rajesh Nambiar

Beijing's suspension of the economic dialogue with Australia will cost China more.

read more
COVID and the Vaccine Diplomacy
June 2021 | CWA # 483

Julia Mathew

Though the US is late to the race, it has an edge. Three reasons why

read more
The US and North Korea
June 2021 | CWA # 482

Dhanushaa P

Between "strategic patience" and "grand bargain," Biden's policy options on Pyongyang are limited

read more

Click below links for year wise archive
2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018