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After the Battle for Dhaka

April 30, 2015

Battle for Dhaka city is over. For BNP, the outcome is a deceit; as for AL, it is a win that could hurt its image as a democratic party.

More than a decade later Dhaka has finally got two new elected mayors. The elections were,however, marred by allegations of widespread irregularities. Mentioning vote rigging and attacks on polling agents of BNP-backed candidates in different polling centers BNP took a swipe at the govt at a press conference and boycotted the city polls.

Like the national election in 2014, turnout was low; however, government and partisan bodies tried to project it as high as they could.

In many polling centers, vote rigging and attacks on journalists and polling agents were caught in camera. Moreover, Swedish ambassador to Bangladesh had found himself in the middle of an infighting within ruling party workers of two candidates when visiting a booth in Dhaka.

Good news is PM has ordered the authorities to look into all such incidents. But we are less optimistic about an objective probe report after institution tasked with holding a credible election declared the polls ‘free’ and ‘fair’.

BNP has to take its part of responsibility for a questionable election. The timing of the announcement of election boycott was wrong. Had it been delayed at least a day or 10 hours, it would have yielded something good for the party. When its decision was set forth to public at 12:00 pm, its loyal plus swing voters who had not gone to polling centers before midday decided not to cast their votes.

Had BNP bagged all these uncast votes, it would have created some sort of trouble for the government determined to win by hook or by crook. In addition, BNP would have won a good number of ward councilor posts.

Except the DCC (North) mayor, the other two mayors have political backgrounds. Before businessman Annisul Haque takes charge of his new duties, he should shift his group’s headquarter from Lotus Kamal Tower, the office complex of ruling party planning minister and treasurer, to somewhere else. He should also step down from his quick rental power plant company. Otherwise, his role as a mayor for all will be questioned.

Now, it is time to see whether AL will let him act independently.

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From → Analysis

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