Bangladesh politics offers some great insights into what can happen when abuse of authority can corrupt an otherwise peaceful march to progress and equality. From late 2006 to 2008, Bangladesh was embroiled in a deadly and violent political crisis which claimed the lives of many people. Many a professional institute focusing on global political affairs point to the root of the whole conflict as the mismanagement of political authority when it was conferred by the Bangladeshi constitution during a period of political transition.
There are basically two dominant political parties in Bangladesh; the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and the Awami League. In late 2006, a caretaker government was formed to oversee the administration of the national election following a two-decade long political conflict. This was not Ibiza where blue horizons were seen up ahead. Instead, the Awami League questioned what it termed where unfair acts by the caretaker government designed to manipulate the results of the upcoming election. When the Awami League announced that it would boycott the upcoming election, the political crisis boiled over leading to riots and clashes which claimed the life of many political supported on both sides.
The cessation of hostilities in late 2008 was made possible by the intervention of the UN and the EU in Bangladeshi political affairs. This intervention led to the creation of an interim government where the President was not elected. It only served to momentarily diffuse the tensions like lulls on movie trailers online but as long as the issues remain, the threat continues to be present and waiting for the right moment to manifest itself.
Enter 2013 when the EU and UN have suspended their participation in the election monitoring process owing to claims that a credible political system for fair and equal voting does not exist. This has set the stage for what can be another deadly round of political crisis in Bangladesh. Like sciatica that only lies dormant, now is perhaps the time where it can all resurface again with even more deadly consequences.
The planned 2013 elections in Bangladesh give rise to two very important issues that require attention not only by the local ruling government but also by international watchdogs with a stake in the country. These are the rise of election-related violence as parties go against each other in the pursuit of their own respective agenda, and the role of the increasingly imbalanced military which can escalate violence even further. Both elements are so serious it cannot be addressed by the metaphorical coconut oil for face approach. Something needs to be done if a new round of violence is to be prevented.
So what can we expect from this political turmoil? There is no clear answer to that question, but there are sound suggestions. First, the sitting government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina from the Awami League must take careful steps to assure the BNP that a fair election will occur, much like when the Awami clamored for BNP to do the same in 2008. Second, a conciliatory approach needs to be taken akin to employing a car accident attorney to objectively settle matters. Third, the military must remain non-biased on the issue, but also restrained in its quest to control the conflict. This is a goal that is far easier said than done.
So is Bangladesh in crisis? It might not be, YET. Only time will tell if the parties involved can come into a peaceful resolution of their differences so they can forge a credible government which will carry Bangladesh to its future;if not, then there is little doubt that a political crisis is about to happen again. And this time, the consequences can be even deadlier.