Hasina’s Victory and the election controversy. - Seeker's Thoughts

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Hasina’s Victory and the election controversy.


A History of Bangladesh: The Rise of Sheikh Hasina 
After two years of Indian Partition, in 1949, the Awami League was established to campaign for East Pakistan autonomy from West Pakistan.

 In 1970, the Awami League under Sheikh Mujibur Rahman won the election in East Pakistan while West Pakistan’s government refused to recognize the result. 

Riots occurred and cyclone hits Pakistan which kills 500,000 people.  In 1971, Sheikh Mujib was exiled and Awami Leagues’ leaders proclaimed the independence on 26th March 1971. The new country renamed as Bangladesh and with the help of Indian troops, the West Pakistan was defeated.


In 1972, Sheikh Mujib returned and became the Prime Minister. There were various downs, and Awami league had lost elections, but in 1996, Awami League came into power, and Sheikh Hasina Wajed, the daughter of Mujbir Rahman became the Prime Minister. That was the beginning of Sheikh Hasina to lead the Bangladesh which saw the world’s most severe natural crisis every year. After that in 2008, December Awami League won the election, and Sheikh Hasina sworn as Prime Minister in January 2009.
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Challenges

There have been mutinies in Bangladesh. Bangladeshi government has banned the local branch of global Islamist organizations Hizb-Ut Tahrir. High Profile Islamic leaders faced prison and Muslim rioters attacked Buddhist Village and Shrines in South East Bangladesh. During October 2017, there a huge number of Rohingyas Muslims fled to Bangladesh. The country has been facing highly political divide and violence.  There are accusations that there was a crackdown on the opposition and pro-opposition websites were taken down, Even, BNP members were tagetted. The government is accused of authoritarian character

Not Fair Elections?

There were chances that the Sheikh Hasina was going to win as she remains immensely popular... Her government had made the fresh mandate for economic reforms and social progress. However, the number of seat remains surprising the party’s alliance has won 288 seats out of 299 seats. While during 2014, there were 234 seats were won and Bangladesh National Party boycotted the poll.

Opposition Party lead by BNP and coalition of Jatiya Oikya Front got only 7 seats. There are conflicting claims about the way the election was conducted. As soon as the results were known, Kamal Hossain, the leader of the Opposition coalition, called it a farcical election and demanded that the Election Commission call a fresh poll. More than 40 Opposition candidates pulled out of the race after voting began on Sunday, alleging rigging.

The Election Monitoring Forum and the SAARC Human Rights Foundation

the Election Monitoring Forum and the SAARC Human Rights Foundation, which includes both local and international observers, said in its preliminary evaluation that the election was “much freer and fairer” than previous ones. In the past, Bangladesh had seen governments declining to hold elections, one being cancelled and called again, and others being delayed amid violence. This time the election was called on time. Participation was higher, with the turnout at 66%, compared to 51% in 2014.