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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2993

Third force formula and the people of Bangladesh

By Sunita Paul

Each day, with the delay in preparing voter list as well with the nasty activities of Chief Election Commissioner Abdul Aziz, possibility of general election in 2007 is becoming uncertain. On the other hand, due to exorbitant rise in the price of essentials, people of Bangladesh are gradually becoming angry with the ruling government. Their anger is further boosted with the serious shortage of power as well continuation of corrupt ministers in the cabinet.

With the uncertainty in holding the general election in 2007, number of speculations is generating wings in Bangladesh. Main opposition Bangladesh Awami League (BAL) is claiming that government led by Begum Khaleda Zia is now conspiring to shift from parliamentary democracy to Presidential form government, with the ultimate goal of prolonging the tenure of her government.

On the other hand, ruling party is denouncing the claim of BAL. Talking to reporters, State Minister for Home Affairs, Lutfozzaman Babar termed BAL’s prediction as ‘ridiculous to highest degree’.

Babar said, BNP believes in democracy and there is no reason to think that Khaleda Zia is planning to shift from parliamentary democracy to presidential form of Government.

He said founder of BNP, late President Ziaur Rahman re-opened the democratic process in Bangladesh, which had been seized by the former regime with a totalitarian rule. Babar expressing his firm hope of winning the next election, said, “people of Bangladesh surely will give their mandate for Begum Khaleda Zia, who has played extremely vital and praiseworthy role in transforming the dull economy of Bangladesh to the status, which allures and attracts large number of foreign investors.”

He adde,” Khaleda Zia has ensured education for all and accorded free education to the female students in Bangladesh. She has also brightened the image of the country in the world by continuing battle against terror.” Babar said, “BNP government never accorded shelter to the criminals and till the total elimination of terrorists and criminals, including the religious fanatics, operations of their government to combat such elements continues.”

Expressing his satisfaction at the capital punishment to Islamist militant leaders of Jagrata Muslim Janata (JMB), Babar said, government of Khaleda Zia will never allow anyone to continue unlawful activities using the good name of Islam. Terrorists and radicals will be punished, and government will also not spare the patrons and masterminds of these elements.

Commenting on the speculation of a civil coup or taking over power by third force, State Minister for Home Affairs said, third force formula is a creation of some leftist politicians, who fail to get even one thousand votes in any elections in Bangladesh. So-called third force formula is without any substance, as it will certainly face people’s opposition. He said, Bangladeshis sacrificed their blood for the establishment of democracy, and they will surely not allow anyone to destabilize the democratic system of the country with any formula coming out of the unfertile brains of some useless people.

BNP Secretary General and LGRD Minister Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan categorically said, some vested quarters are constantly conspiring to foil the democracy of the country. But, with people’s support, Bangladesh Nationalist Party will surely defeat these forces.

Pointing to BAL, Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan said, their politics is against the interest of the people of Bangladesh. Now BAL leadership has realized that in any future election in the country, they will never get the required majority to form the government.

Faced with this stark reality, BAL is now active in conspiracy to sabotage the democracy of Bangladesh. They are even joining hands with conspirators from country and abroad, to stage notorious anarchy in the country.

Commenting on the third force formula, a member of diplomatic corps in Bangladesh said, everyone understands that, taking over power by third force means a military coup. Considering the socio-political realities in the country, there is no chance of any civil coup even in the distant future. So, the only room for emergence of third force might be a bi-product of a military coup, which had already been rejected by the people of Bangladesh during nineties when they brought down the autocratic regime of Hussain Muhammed Ershad. She said, international big powers will also not support the emergence of so-called third force, which actually gets backing from military junta in any of the countries in the world.

The diplomat further said, if there is any irregular regime in Bangladesh, it will certainly lose people’s support even in less than two years. The pro-democratic masses of the country will surely sacrifice anything to reinstall the democratic system in Bangladesh.

Meanwhile, with the election getting nearer, interesting polarization in politics has already begun in Bangladesh. BAL is trying to form political alliance with Jatiya Party led by former autocrat Hussain Muhammed Ershad. Presently Ershad’s party holds 30 seats in the parliament. But, anticipating Jatiya Party’s coalition with BAL, several front ranking leaders, including some Presidium members are planning to resign and join in other political parties.

Expressing dissatisfaction at Ershad’s decision to form alliance with Bangladesh Awami League, a leader of JP Presidium said, by doing this, Ershad will commit the biggest political blunder in his life. Many of the leaders of JP will leave this party, if it goes into the pocket of BAL. On the other hand, some leaders say, this is the only scope for Ershad to become the next Prime Minister is to be in electoral alliance with BAL.

Commenting on the emergence of third force in Bangladesh politics, however, all the leaders of Jatiya Party said, some vested quarters are conspiring to place such elements in Bangladesh politics. But, people and political forces of the country will jointly fight such conspiracy.

Neutral political analysts feel that, continuous failure of political parties in addressing national issue, including combating corruption has generated the speculations of third force. But, this is certainly not the option for a developing country like Bangladesh, because, global big powers support democratic system in every country worldwide. They also openly oppose any form of authoritarian rule, including that of third force. Keeping this scenario in front, possibly there is no scope for any third force to emerge in Bangladesh politics.

On the other hand, politicians need to understand and honor people’s aspirations and hope. There is no room for politicians to consider the people of their country as their unconditional subjects. The world is changing, so changing is people’s minds. Especially at this part of the century, political leaders in the under developed and developing countries should certainly refrain from making their own fortune with the power they are being accorded by the voters. A small mistake by the politicians might ultimately leave a serious impact on the country’s democratic structure. So, Bangladeshi politicians, instead of ignoring the speculations of emergence of third force, rather should keep this matter in their mind and concentrate in working for the good of the people and the country.

- Asian Tribune -

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