Logo
04th-May-2015

Vote-riggers decision can't be acceptable as election

By MAINUL HOSEIN

The United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called for neutral probe of the irregularities and violence in City Corporations elections of Dhaka and Chittagong cities by competent authorities. But there is no clear indication as to who may be such competent authorities within the government establishments in Bangladesh in the light of the politicization of all organs of the government including the constitutional bodies which are supposed to be apolitical to protect basic rights of the people including their right to vote. The US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman who visited the city immediately after the city polls also in a statement stressed the need for transparent probe into the allegations of irregularities in the city polls while also voicing disappointment at the polls boycott by the opposition-backed candidates.Ban Ki-moon's telephonic discussion with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was distorted by the incompetent sycophants around her. Lying to the Prime Minister is their way of misleading or misguiding the Prime Minister about her government's wrongdoings. According to the made up version, the UN Secretary General praised the Prime Minister for consolidating democracy in Bangladesh when democracy is in the death-throes and hence the international community has joined us in expressing anxiety about impending danger. Meanwhile, the European Union (EU), the US States Department, Britain, Japan and some other governments and international human rights bodies have also expressed disappointment at the vote rigging and violence in the city polls and called for 'transparent and neutral investigation' into the irregularities. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's reaction to their comments makes it clear that she finds nothing wrong in cheating the people by not allowing to cast their own vote. She said, as reported in the press, she is not disturbed by the comments. She also condemns the US Ambassador's visit to polling centers as scandalous. In other words, she is defending swindling of the election. That makes the crisis all the more disturbing for the people of Bangladesh. No democratic or no pro-people leader can defend the vote swindlers as against the people. So the Prime Minister must feel disturbed. Being shocked at the height of vote rigging the media, generally obliging, has shown unusual courage in exposing in details with vivid pictures how the voting exercise was converted into a no-vote exercise. The power of the press in saving democracy has once again been re-asserted.The media's special position and power should be our great hope for making the country safe for all of us. The peoples' country must be owned by the people and run by the persons enjoying peoples' trust.  Suggestion of the UN and other leaders of the international community for peaceful solution to election cheating should be received by the government with due consideration. The world leaders are not against the Prime Minister, they are talking of free election -- the very foundation of democracy. The mayoral election left no doubt that all the future elections to be held under this government will be decided by their hired vote-riggers and not the people themselves. It cannot be safe or honourable for the government or city Mayors to be the creation of paid musclemen. Holding free and fair election cannot be a matter of policy differences between the political parties. The BNP has been condemned for its politics by the Prime Minister day in and day out, and still the government cannot meet BNP at a free and fair election. The party leaders have been described as terrorists and killers of innocent persons by no lesser a person than the Prime Minister herself. Most of the BNP leaders are in jail. The government should pause and think why they cannot trust the people rejecting BNP politics at an election. And why her men have to organise vote stealing under police protection. If the UN and other friendly states are seriously anxious to save our people from the violence of force against force clashes then they should urge the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to declare the city mayoral elections unacceptable. There is no remedy available through democratic institutions as these have been politicised by both Begum Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina. All the democratic institutions have been crippled to be unhelpful for a peaceful solution. Otherwise the Election Commission, and the judiciary would have been enough for declaring the voting results void.  So we are not pleading in favour of any party. The voting right is my right as well as the people's right and we must uphold it to live with dignity as a free people. We cannot have our leaders chosen by vote-riggers either. It was a dangerous development that this time police were involved in protecting the vote thieves.  Vote-rigging cannot be the way of seeking peace among the people or offering good governance. The Prime Minister should ask her Advisers why the government has failed to gain popularity and fear BNP for facing a free election.  It is not leadership to consider failure as strength.