Bangladesh, one of the poorest and possibly the most misunderstood nation is to hold a general election by the end of December 2008. Observers say, it will change misconceptions about this very corrupt and unfortunate nation.
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A military-backed caretaker regime suspended planned parliamentary elections in January 2007 in an effort to reform the political system and root out corruption; the regime has pledged new democratic elections by the end of 2008.
Like many so-called democratic countries of the world, Bangladesh has two leading parties, which receive the backing of minority parties that have no agenda. The oldest by years, Awami League, has always played a major role in Bangladeshi elections, while the newer of them: the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) has had abrupt influence in making Bangladeshi history a matter of controvery.
Bangladesh has had politicians that have been a little more-than spineless. The term mudslinging would be an under-representation of the characters of Bangladeshi politicians. Ershad is one such man. The former dictator of Bangladesh is turning out be a force that is directing some attention to his cause.
Hussain Muhammad Ershad, who heads Jatiya Party (National Party), is in favour with the diplomats, the donors and Sheikh Hasina. He is likely to contribute his time and effort with the so-called 14-party alliance. This coalition of the unwilling is led by a woman who has been the source of many spirited controversies in Bangladeshi elections. However, 2008 seems to ending in her stride.
After returning from USA, Sheikh Hasina looked fully in control and is likely to form a government that will be proclaimed not just historic, but will also add new dimension to manufactured democracy. Meanwhile, Hasina's bitter opponent Khaleda Zia is not doing so well after her release from confinement.
Her inability to express her thoughts in public may be the reason.
The U.S. loves haughtiness. In its recently held expensive elections, even the debates saw some innovation. Bangladesh has followed the U.S. example closely. The country will have a debate between the two dissimilar leading ladies.
As part of the evolving democracy in Bangladesh, the debate was called for by the Awami League leader, through her newly appointed spokesperson, Ashraful Islam. The problem is however, the agenda. Sheikh Hasina prefers a set agenda, while Khaleda Zia's camp would rather not have a televised debate.
Unfortunately, Khaleda Zia is not known to be fluent in her speech. While Sheikh Hasina just speaks to much, which is distasteful, according to critics.
The 4-party alliance led by BNP, along with their fellow conspirators Jamaat-e-Islami have accused the military-backed administration of favouritism. Their spokesperson Khondaker Delwar Hossain recently expressed his dissatisfaction to the media. In his usually sober attitude, Mr. Hossain said that his parties participation in the 2008 elections is a responsibility of the Election Commission.
>> This article is dedicated to a great son of Bangladesh: Noor Hossain