Bangladesh's political crisis

Speakers Advocate Unity for Success in Anti-government Movements at BIDSS Webinar

By Khandakar Akter
Published Fri, Dec 29, 2023 12:02 AM

Amidst the prevailing atmosphere of fear in Bangladesh, influential figures in the country emphasize the crucial need for a unified approach in anti-government movements to ensure their success. The consensus at the " TheUpcoming Elections in Bangladesh and Future trajectory of the country" webinar, organized (on 27th December,2023) by the Bangladesh Institute of Development and Security Studies (BIDSS), underscored that the current movement, primarily centered around the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), requires the active participation of all anti-government forces.

The webinar featured distinguished panelists, including Dr. Badiul Alam Mazumder, the founding secretary of Citizens for Good Governance; Dr. Ali Riaz, Distinguished Professor of Illinois State University; and Jyoti Rahman, an International Monetary Fund Consultant. The event was moderated by Mohamamd Imran Hossain (ansary), a Ph.D. candidate at Robert Morris University.

Dr. Badiul Alam Majumdar asserted that the government's organization of elections under the fifteenth amendment of the constitution is deemed illegal. He expressed strong opposition to the idea of holding another parliamentary election without dissolving the current parliament, deeming it unacceptable. Dr. Majumdar believes there is still an opportunity to dissolve the parliament and conduct a free and fair election with the participation of all parties within the next 90 days.

Addressing the issue of foreign interference in Bangladesh's elections, Dr. Ali Riaz highlighted historical instances of interference from countries such as Russia, China, India, and the United States. He particularly emphasized India's noteworthy interference in the 2014, 2018, and 2024 elections, evident in various statements made by government ministers. Despite the upcoming January 7 election, Dr. Riaz sees it as not the final word, asserting that the ruling Awami League government may face public protests leading to their departure. He calls for the unity of moderate parties from both the right and left on a common platform, anticipating continued support from the Western world, including the United States.

Economist Jyoti Rahman expressed concern over the potential extreme economic crisis the country might face after one-sided elections, warning of a risk of mass upheaval.