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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2613

Sheikh Hasina's Ballot Revolution in Bangladesh

Our Diplomatic Correspondent from Dhaka

Dhaka , 30 December (Asiantribune.com): The Awami League-led grand alliance was poised to record a big victory in the long-awaited ninth parliamentary polls, as they were leading in most of the seats till filing this report.Awami League President Sheikh HasinaAwami League President Sheikh Hasina

The Awami League candidates were unofficially declared elected in at least 195 constituencies till then, while BNP reportedly bagged 30 seats. The grand alliance was leading in other seats and their main rival four-party alliance led by BNP in 8 seats, according to count of result reported by then.

Former Prime Minister and Awami League President Sheikh Hasina was unofficially declared elected from Gopalganj-3 with a huge margin of 154437 votes against her nearest rival SM Zilani of BNP who bagged only 4,421 votes. Hasina polled 158858, according to unofficial results. She was also leading with a wide margin in Rangpur-6.

Former Prime Minister and BNP chairperson Begum Khaleda was declared elected unofficially in Feni-1 seat. She was also leading in Bogra. According to unofficial results Jamaat-e-Islami chief Motiur Rahman Nizami lost to AL candidate Shamsul Huque Tuku in Pabna-1 constituency. After the 2001 elections, in which BNP got a landslide victory over Awami League, jamaat-e-Islami leaders Nizami and Mojahid were made ministers and they roamed the country with the flag of Bangladesh, which they opposed in 1971.

In the 9th general election Bangladesh made ballot into revolution in her political history. Is it a repetition of history? What had happened in the life of Founding father of Bangladesh Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman , in December 1970 . That also has happened in the case of his loving daughter Sheikh Hasina's life in December 2008?

In the annals of political history of Bangladesh the first general election was held during the Pakistan autocratic regimes in 1970, The Election wave traversed the nation with a new life -elixir of Bengali nationalism Wave campaign turned into a Vote- cyclone ravaged the conspirators of 'Islam Pasand parties' and military regime of Yahya Khan.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the great leader, could far sight the course of action, the press statement was a specific in term, "Power must be won by the people, whether it be through elections, or if elections are aborted, through the strength of an awakened people The people have already voted in their hearts and in their minds.."

The election campaign and voting took place in a peaceful atmosphere, and all parties, including those which were defeated, agreed that the elections were both free and fair. Women, who were voting for the first time, turned out in large numbers.

Awami League fought the elections on the basis of the six-point programme. This was an event of great political importance since this was for the first time that Pakistan went to the polls on the basis of universal adult franchise during its past 23 years. In this general election in 1970 , the AL led by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman swept the polls. That result leads to independence of Bangladesh in December 1971 .

In December 2008, on its different context , Awami League president Sheikh Hasina led grand alliance won the landslide victory over 200 out of 300 constituencies in the 9th Parliament Election ,first free and fair election after August 1975, held on 29th December , Monday .

It was an experience never seen before in an independent Bangladesh -- a record number of voters marching up to polling centers and waiting for hours to cast their votes. Defying the winter chill in rural areas, women -- young and old -- some on crutches or in wheelchairs queued up. Youths came out in their thousands, excitement sparkling in their eyes, looking for their serial number. Election buntings on strings brought a festive edge to the whole affair reports the daily star.

The scenes were more of the same throughout the day yesterday as the elections to the ninth parliament finally ended after a gap of seven years from the eighth parliamentary polls.

Political rivals, at least for a day, forgot their sharp ideological divides and smiled at each other, often helping identify voters. Voters, rather than behaving in herd mentality, proudly swung votes, saying they looked at candidate profiles rather than symbols. Reports of violence were few and far between and that too in less intensity. Fake voting was almost absent, the report added.

During her election campaign in her rural village ,pointing to the youths Hasina said, "The Awami League-led grand alliance has set the vision 2021 for the youth. We want to build a digital Bangladesh where people will get a developed life free from crime and misrule and face the challenge of the 21st century.""You choose whether you want anarchy and terrorism or peace and stability, food-deficiency or food-sufficiency, and cast your vote on December 29," Hasina said. "If you want to see a self-respected and developed Bangladesh, cast your vote in favor of the grand alliance."She also pledged to establish Bangladesh as the most peaceful nation in South Asia.

Awami League president Sheikh Hasina who flashed V-sign after casting her vote expressed the hope that the grand alliance will get the chance of running the country after securing mandate in yesterday's election.

Talking to reporters after casting vote at City College centre with her sister Sheikh Rehana at 8:30am, she also hoped that the elections will be peaceful and all will accept the results.

Hasina, however, mentioned attempts of buying votes by BNP-Jamaat candidates at many places.

Hasina also called for peaceful transfer of power after the election, saying that excepting her transfer of power in 2001, every time obstructions were created.

She said whoever forms the government will ensure accountability and transparency as people no longer want to see clash and conflict reports UNB.

Like 1970's election where Islam Pasand Parties were eliminated from the political scene of the country by people's verdict, This December 2008, the anti-liberation forces have been defeated once again, this time through peoples' verdict. While it is a sweet revenge for Bangladeshis against the war criminals, the verdict will strengthen the peoples' demand for their trial.

In the historic ninth parliamentary elections held yesterday, Jamaat-e-Islami, collaborators of the Pakistani occupation forces in 1971, is heading towards a humiliating defeat in the 38 parliamentary seats it vied for.

Jamaat's big shots, including Ameer Motiur Rahman Nizami and Secretary General Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojahid, and other leaders are on the verge of defeat, according to poll results as of 10:00pm.

Nizami, who contested the elections from Pabna-1 constituency, lost to M Shamsul Haque Tuku.

As a component of the previous BNP-led four-party alliance, Jamaat had 17 seats in the eighth parliament in 2001 thanks to BNP's vote banks.

But this time the party faces the people's wrath for the alliance's misdeeds during its five-year tenure in the government from 2001 to 2006 and mounting demands for the trial of their war crimes.

In 1971, Jamaat stood against peoples' aspiration for an independent Bangladesh and collaborated with the Pakistani forces to exterminate the freedom-loving Bangalees by killing three million people, including women and childrenThe anti-liberation forces have been defeated once again, this time through peoples' verdict. While it is a sweet revenge for Bangladeshis against the war criminals, the verdict will strengthen the peoples' demand for their trial.

In the historic ninth parliamentary elections held yesterday, Jamaat-e-Islami, collaborators of the Pakistani occupation forces in 1971, is heading towards a humiliating defeat in the 38 parliamentary seats it vied for.

Jamaat's big shots, including Ameer Motiur Rahman Nizami and Secretary General Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojahid, and other leaders are on the verge of defeat, according to poll results as of 10:00pm.

Nizami, who contested the elections from Pabna-1 constituency, lost to M Shamsul Haque Tuku.As a component of the previous BNP-led four-party alliance, Jamaat had 17 seats in the eighth parliament in 2001 thanks to BNP's vote banks.

But this time the party faces the people's wrath for the alliance's misdeeds during its five-year tenure in the government from 2001 to 2006 and mounting demands for the trial of their war crimes.

In 1971, Jamaat stood against peoples' aspiration for an independent Bangladesh and collaborated with the Pakistani forces to exterminate the freedom-loving Bengalese by killing three million people, including women and children, the daily star reports. It seemed the long-toiling work on anti-corruption and political reforms had paid off -- at least to some extent. As results kept pouring in, it appeared the Awami League-led grand alliance clinched a distinct lead over the BNP-led four-party alliance. As this report was filed at … the Grand Alliance led in …. constituencies while the 4-party was at the top notch in ….. constituencies.

- Asian Tribune -

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