After objecting bitterly about election planning irregularities and breach of Constitution, Awami League led 14-party opposition is reportedly decided to contest in parliamentary election scheduled January 22 next year. Apparently, the decision is to prevent Begum Khaleda Zia’s Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP)-led far-right coalition from obtaining an easy victory that could cost the country and the region dearly.
Former Prime Minister and Awami League leader Sheikh Hasina announced the decision after the Election Commission postponed the last date for filing nominations to December 26 and promised to correct voter lists and de-politicize the commission and the bureaucracy. If the opposition did not participate, Zia and her fundamentalist partners would have won an non-credible elections plunged the nation and region in chaos.
There are continuing concerns about the credibility of these elections as the EC has been stuffed with Zia cronies and massive electoral list manipulation. Further, many suspect that President and caretaker government of Iajuddin Ahmed is truly neutral.