People Don’t Trust the Ruling Party in Bangladesh During Elections,why?


People Don’t Trust the Ruling
Party in Bangladesh During Elections, why?

Map of Bangladesh 


Bangladesh, a nation with a rich
history and a dynamic political landscape, has witnessed a recurring phenomenon
in its democratic journey: opposition to the ruling party government during
election periods. This opposition often takes the form of protests, claims of
electoral fraud, and allegations of misconduct. In this article, we will
explore the reasons behind the scepticisms and resistance that many
Bangladeshis exhibit towards the ruling party government during election
cycles, with a focus on recent developments and historical context.

Embarking on a retrospective
exploration of Bangladesh’s political trajectory, it becomes evident that the
nation’s democratic narrative is punctuated by the rhythmic cadence of
opposition, particularly during the electoral epochs. The rich historical
tapestry of Bangladesh, woven with the threads of independence struggles and
social transformations, has laid the foundation for a populace deeply attuned
to the nuances of governance. As the political landscape evolved, so did the mechanisms
of dissent, with opposition during election periods emerging as a prominent
feature. The democratic ethos, while a testament to progress, has also become a
stage where passionate protests, fervent claims of electoral irregularities,
and pointed allegations of governmental misconduct intermingle to create a
complex tableau of dissent. Against this backdrop, understanding the nuanced
motivations behind the skepticism and resistance that permeate Bangladeshi
society during election cycles necessitates an exploration that delves into
both recent events and the enduring echoes of the nation’s past.

In recent times, the political
landscape of Bangladesh has been marked by a palpable tension between the
ruling party government and a segment of the population that remains
persistently critical. Examining the contemporary contours of this discord
reveals a mosaic of factors contributing to the skepticism and resistance
witnessed during election periods. Economic disparities, governance challenges,
and issues related to social justice have all played integral roles in shaping
the prevailing sentiment. Simultaneously, the historical context adds layers of
complexity, as the collective memory of the nation bears witness to pivotal
moments of struggle and change. By centering our analysis on both recent
developments and historical antecedents, this article seeks to illuminate the
intricate interplay of forces that fuels the recurrent wave of opposition,
providing a comprehensive understanding of the multifaceted dynamics shaping
Bangladesh’s democratic landscape.

The Evolution of
Bangladesh’s Democracy:

To comprehend the intricacies of
opposition during election periods in Bangladesh, it is imperative to trace the
trajectory of the nation’s democratic evolution. Born out of the crucible of
the 1971 war of independence, Bangladesh’s nascent years were fraught with
political instability, military coups, and a relentless struggle for democratic
governance. The struggle for identity and autonomy that defined the nation’s
early years laid the groundwork for a political landscape marked by turbulence
and fluctuating power dynamics.

A pivotal turning point in
Bangladesh’s democratic journey occurred in 1991 when the nation embraced a
multi-party system and conducted its first general elections. This marked the
inception of a political tradition characterized by the dominance of two major
players—the Awami League (AL) and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP). The
subsequent years witnessed a cyclical pattern of power alternation between
these political giants. However, the democratic process, while a beacon of
progress, has been tarnished by persistent challenges. Political violence,
allegations of corruption, and reports of electoral irregularities have cast
shadows over the democratic landscape, revealing the enduring struggle to
establish a robust and transparent democratic framework.

As Bangladesh navigates the
complex terrain of democratic governance, the echoes of its historical struggle
resonate in the present-day political discourse. The evolving nature of
democracy in Bangladesh provides a crucial backdrop for understanding the
intricate dynamics that contribute to the recurring phenomenon of opposition
during election cycles. The interplay between historical legacies and
contemporary challenges forms a complex tapestry, shedding light on the nuanced
reasons that underpin the skepticism and resistance evident in the nation’s
political arena during crucial electoral junctures.

Reasons Behind Opposition
to the Ruling Party Government:

1. Electoral Irregularities:

The specter of electoral
irregularities looms large as one of the primary drivers behind the opposition
to the ruling party government during election periods in Bangladesh. The
perception of a compromised electoral process, marred by allegations of voter
intimidation, vote rigging, and the suppression of opposition parties, has
become deeply entrenched in the nation’s political fabric. Critics argue that
these irregularities not only jeopardize the fairness of elections but also
cast a long shadow of doubt over the credibility of the results, making it
arduous for the public to place trust in the democratic machinery.

The watershed moment in this
narrative unfolded during the 2018 national elections when the Bangladesh
Nationalist Party (BNP) and other opposition factions levied serious
accusations against the Awami League (AL), the ruling party. The opposition
claimed that the government, leveraging its position of power, manipulated the
electoral process to systematically tilt the odds in its favor, resulting in an
overwhelming victory for the AL. Allegations of voter suppression and
irregularities in the electoral mechanisms were fervently asserted, further corroding
the already fragile trust in the electoral system. The aftermath of the 2018
elections underscored the deep-seated fissures within the democratic framework,
with an aggrieved opposition and a skeptical public left grappling with the
aftermath of perceived electoral malfeasance.

The cumulative impact of these
alleged irregularities extends far beyond the confines of individual election
cycles, shaping the broader discourse surrounding democracy and governance in
Bangladesh. The erosion of public trust in the electoral system not only
compromises the legitimacy of elected representatives but also undermines the
foundational principles of democratic governance. Addressing the concerns
surrounding electoral irregularities becomes paramount for the sustenance of a
healthy democracy, requiring a comprehensive and transparent reassessment of
electoral processes to restore faith in the integrity of the democratic

2. Controversial Election

The perceived lack of
independence of the Election Commission emerges as a significant catalyst for
intensified opposition during election periods in Bangladesh. Entrusted with
the pivotal responsibility of overseeing the electoral process and safeguarding
its fairness, the Election Commission plays a crucial role in upholding the
democratic principles that underpin the nation’s governance. However,
persistent allegations of political bias and undue influence have cast a shadow
over the Commission’s credibility, contributing to a contentious atmosphere
that reverberates throughout the political landscape.

Opposition parties vehemently
argue that the composition of the Election Commission, appointed by the ruling party
government, compromises its impartiality. According to their assertions, the
Commission’s decisions often display a perceived favoritism towards the ruling
party, heightening suspicions about the fairness and integrity of the electoral
process. This perceived lack of objectivity not only undermines the
Commission’s role as an independent arbiter but also erodes public confidence
in the democratic system. The belief that the electoral watchdog may be
influenced by partisan interests becomes a potent force driving opposition
during elections, as citizens question the legitimacy of outcomes and the
integrity of the electoral playing field.

The repercussions of this
perception of a controversial Election Commission extend far beyond individual
election cycles, shaping the broader discourse on the democratic health of
Bangladesh. The erosion of public trust in the impartiality of the electoral
oversight body raises fundamental questions about the foundational principles
of democracy. Addressing these concerns is crucial for fostering an environment
where citizens can participate in the democratic process with confidence,
knowing that the institutions entrusted with safeguarding the integrity of
elections operate independently and impartially. The recalibration of the
Election Commission’s role and composition is an essential step toward
rebuilding public trust and ensuring the vibrancy and fairness of Bangladesh’s
democratic system.3. Political Violence and Intimidation:

The specter of political violence
and intimidation looms ominously as a force propelling the intensification of
opposition during election periods in Bangladesh. Beyond the realm of
ideological debates and policy discussions, this contentious facet of political
life involves a spectrum of tactics, ranging from physical aggression to legal
maneuvers strategically employed against opposition figures. Opposition parties
vociferously assert that they become targets of systematic harassment,
arbitrary arrests, and legal cases initiated with the intent to stifle their
voices and manipulate the electoral outcome.

In the lead-up to the 2018
elections, this dark undercurrent manifested with alarming prominence. Reports
surfaced detailing a series of attacks on opposition leaders and supporters,
creating a climate of fear and insecurity that permeated the political
landscape. Such orchestrated acts not only disrupt the opposition’s ability to
conduct a fair and impactful campaign but also cast a chilling effect on
citizens contemplating engagement in the political process. The palpable fear
generated by these incidents dissuades potential voters from actively
participating in the democratic exercise, undermining the foundational principles
of free and fair elections and casting shadows over the legitimacy of the
electoral process itself.

This climate of political
violence and intimidation becomes a corrosive force, corroding the democratic
ideals that hinge on open and unrestricted political participation. The use of
force and coercion as tools to manipulate electoral outcomes not only
compromises the integrity of the democratic process but also erodes the
foundational trust that citizens place in their political institutions. The
ripple effects extend beyond the immediate election cycle, shaping the
collective psyche of the nation and setting precedents that have far-reaching
consequences for the long-term health of Bangladesh’s democratic fabric.
Addressing this challenge requires a concerted effort to dismantle the culture
of intimidation, fostering an environment where political discourse can
flourish without the looming threat of retribution.

4. Media Suppression:

Media suppression casts a
disconcerting shadow over the democratic landscape of Bangladesh, particularly
during election periods, raising profound concerns about the integrity of the
electoral process. In a thriving democracy, the role of a free and independent
media is pivotal, serving as the vanguard for disseminating unbiased information,
scrutinizing the actions of the government, and holding leaders accountable to
the public. However, Bangladesh grapples with a series of allegations
encompassing media censorship, harassment of journalists, and restrictive
measures imposed on media outlets, all of which converge to create a stifling
atmosphere for open discourse.

Opposition parties vociferously
contend that the government strategically manipulates the media landscape to
assert control over the narrative and suppress dissenting voices. This alleged
interference not only compromises the autonomy of media outlets but also
hampers their ability to report independently and critically. The consequence
is a distorted informational landscape that impedes voters’ capacity to make
well-informed decisions. When the media is restrained from playing its vital
role as a watchdog, citizens are deprived of the diverse perspectives and
comprehensive coverage essential for navigating the complexities of political
choices. Consequently, the erosion of media freedom becomes a pervasive force
exacerbating the erosion of public trust in the electoral system.

The implications of media
suppression extend beyond the immediate electoral cycles, shaping the broader
contours of democratic discourse in Bangladesh. A media environment hampered by
constraints and manipulated narratives not only hinders the democratic process
but also undermines the principles of transparency and accountability that are
the bedrock of a healthy democracy. To fortify the democratic fabric, it is
imperative for stakeholders to address and rectify issues related to media
suppression, ensuring an environment where the media can operate independently,
providing citizens with the necessary tools to engage meaningfully in the
democratic process and make informed choices..

5. Perceived Lack of

The prevailing perception of a
lack of accountability becomes a poignant catalyst for the heightened
opposition directed towards the ruling party government during election periods
in Bangladesh. Critics assert that the government, especially when in power,
operates within a sphere where allegations of corruption, abuse of power, and
human rights violations are met with a perceived immunity from scrutiny. This
perceived lack of accountability forms a nexus with grievances held by
opposition parties and civil society groups, who argue that there exists a
pervasive culture of impunity shielding government officials from facing the
consequences of their alleged wrongdoings.

Opposition parties contend that
the ruling party government routinely sidesteps its responsibility to
impartially investigate and prosecute cases involving corruption and abuse.
This contention reverberates through the nation’s political landscape, fostering
a sense of frustration and disillusionment among the populace. The notion that
those in power remain shielded from accountability engenders a profound sense
of injustice, contributing to the swells of opposition that crescendo during
election periods. Voters, seeking a change in leadership that prioritizes
transparency, ethical conduct, and accountability, channel their discontent
into a collective call for a more responsible and responsive governance.

Addressing the perceived lack of
accountability becomes pivotal not only for the immediate democratic health of
the nation but also for the long-term sustainability of Bangladesh’s political
institutions. The electorate’s demand for change is rooted in a fundamental
desire for a government that upholds the principles of justice and
accountability, ensuring that those entrusted with power are answerable for
their actions. In navigating the complex terrain of electoral politics,
rectifying this perceived imbalance becomes an essential step towards fortifying
the bedrock of a resilient and responsive democratic system.

6. Economic Disparities and
Social Injustice:

Economic disparities and social
injustice are also factors that contribute to opposition to the ruling party
government during election periods. Critics argue that the benefits of economic
growth have not been evenly distributed, and marginalized communities,
especially in rural areas, continue to face poverty and limited access to basic

As a result, opposition parties
often mobilize support by highlighting these disparities and promising to
address them if elected. In this context, election periods become a platform
for citizens to voice their grievances and seek change, which can manifest as
opposition to the incumbent government.

7. Lack of Inclusivity:

The lack of inclusivity in the
political process is a concern for many Bangladeshis. Critics argue that the
ruling party government often monopolizes power, making it difficult for
opposition parties and diverse voices to participate meaningfully in the
political process.

This lack of inclusivity can lead
to feelings of exclusion and frustration among various segments of the
population, including ethnic and religious minorities. As a result, election
periods become an opportunity for these marginalized groups to express their
concerns and push for greater inclusivity in the political system.

Historical Tensions and
Political Polarization:

The landscape of Bangladesh’s
political arena bears the indelible imprints of historical tensions and
escalating political polarization, elements that have steadily intensified over
the years and significantly contributed to the dynamics of opposition during
election periods. At the heart of this discord lies the enduring rivalry
between the Awami League and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), two

powerhouses that have come to
symbolize opposing ideologies and visions for the nation. The historical
animosities between these parties have not merely been confined to policy
differences but have evolved into a deeply entrenched and visceral
polarization, permeating through the very fabric of Bangladesh’s political

The manifestation of historical
tensions reaches its zenith during election campaigns, transforming the
democratic process into a battleground of personal animosities and impassioned
rhetoric. The visceral nature of this rivalry becomes a defining feature,
overshadowing policy debates and hindering constructive dialogue. The intensity
of these historical fault lines makes collaboration and cooperation between
political parties a formidable challenge, particularly when the stakes are high
during election cycles. The persistent polarization not only hampers the
development of a more inclusive and cooperative political landscape but also
serves as a catalyst for opposition movements that draw strength from the
deep-seated animosities woven into the nation’s political history.

As Bangladesh grapples with the
repercussions of historical tensions and political polarization, the
complexities of forging a unified and collaborative political front become
increasingly apparent. The implications of this deep-rooted rivalry extend
beyond the electoral arena, shaping the very essence of governance and
political discourse in the nation. Understanding the intricacies of these
historical fault lines is paramount for comprehending the underlying reasons
behind the fervent opposition that characterizes election periods, shedding
light on the multifaceted challenges that confront Bangladesh’s democratic


In conclusion, Bangladesh stands
at a critical juncture in its democratic evolution, grappling with the
formidable challenges posed by historical tensions, political polarization, and
persistent skepticism during election cycles. To fortify the foundations of its
democratic institutions, it is imperative for the nation to confront these
challenges head-on and chart a course toward a more inclusive and transparent
electoral system. Building public trust in the electoral process is not merely
a prerequisite for a flourishing democracy but also a linchpin for ensuring
that the voice of the people resonates authentically through the ballot box.

As Bangladesh endeavors to
navigate the complex terrain of democratic governance, the imperative lies in
the collective efforts of the government, opposition parties, and civil
society. Collaboration is key in dismantling the barriers erected by historical
rivalries and fostering a political landscape characterized by cooperation
rather than confrontation. By addressing these concerns collectively,
stakeholders can contribute to the cultivation of a robust democratic process
that not only withstands the challenges of the present but also stands
resilient against the tests of time. In this shared commitment to the ideals of
democracy, Bangladesh has the potential to not only overcome the hurdles it
faces but also emerge as a beacon of democratic progress and stability in the
South Asian region.


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