A change happened in Bangladesh on January 11. Although we know the collective forces behind the changes, it is not clear which single person or which group of people made the January 11 changes happen. I hope the group of civil society members who have been entrusted with the responsibility of running the country know the persons causing the change.
A big question is in everybodies mind now, that is, what’s next? What will happen next, how this interim government will handover to a permanent government? When that will happen? What kind of government will that government be? Which political party or person is likely to lead that government?
Let’s discuss the possible answers.
Option # 1.
Like good boys, this government will focus on election reform, election and an earliest handover of power. As demanded by AL and BNP they will start voter list work very soon, an election will be held by June and governance will be handed back to politicians.
Reality: That option seems quite unreal under current circumstances. There is, in general no appetite for an early election. The CTG cheid reiterated several times he wants to ensure full reform in ALL sectors of the country before announcing an election date.
A longer term government. Take some major steps in cleansing the mess created by 15 years of lootocracy in the name of democracy. Reforming EC and finish the corruption trials before holding the elctions. The election will be again between mighty AL, BNP and some distant 3rd parties, one led by Dr Yunus.
Reality: This is certainly a strong possibility. But I have a strong doubt that the major power brokers in current Bangladesh, be it army, be it civil society or be it the donor community, have a sincere intention to do that. So far there have not been any categoriocal statement from any of the leaders, Fakhruddin or Moin U Ahmed which would have meant, ” We will return the power to one of the two major political parties”.
Slowly, covertly and steadily weaken the two major political parties and eventually bring them to a stage where they will be organizationally unable to win an election.
Somehow, may be by means of referendum, change to constitution to Presidential form or a power sharing national government form as proposed by Dr Yunus. In the meantime help Dr Yunus’s party grow and make him the definite winner in the presidential election. In this formula the Upazilla election may come first.
PS of Sheikh Hasina Dr Alauddin is locked up. So is Khaleda’s PS Falu. Another PS Haris is on the run and waiting to be caught. The noose around Tareq is tightening. Another Hasina aide Salman is also in custody. Our leaders do all the dirty works through their PSs. And even if they don’t do any dirty work, they could easily be trapped for the crime of their PS.
This method would disqualify both Khaleda/Hasina as well as some top political leaders from running for election and also prosecute thousands of grassroot level workers of both parties.
Some perceived clean leadership are being chased away from their political parties. Foremost names in the rumor mill are Mannan Bhuiyan, MK Anwar, B Chowdhury, Col Oli, Dr kamal etc. to join Dr Yunus’s party.
It will be more of a depoliticized democracy led by Dr Yunus.
Option # 4.
A compromise of option # 3 as it will be easier to implement. Keep AL as it is and definitely under leadership of Sheikh Hasina, Jalil, Obaidul Kader etc. Destroy BNP only. It will be easy to do. ( In fact it is always easy to attack a party just after their rule. The paper trail and foot prints to corruption still are very fresh). Lock up Khaleda, Tareq, force some top leadership like Mannan Bhuiyan, MK Anwar into Yunus’s party. Then have Yunus, with BNPs grassroot force and support behind him, face AL’s Sheikh Hasina in a Presidential election.
Still the majority of Bangladesh and the establishment ( Civil and military) supports a Bangladeshi nationalism that was envisioned and defined by Late president Ziaur Rahman [ AL ers call this force as anti AL force]. Because they support Bangladeshi nationalism, and as they found Khaleda’s BNP was the only formidable forces to uphold that nationalism, the establishment and the majority of the people helped BNP come back to power at least three times since assasination of President Zia.
I have a strong feeling that most of the people sitting in the current CTG are patrons of that force. For this group of establishment as well as the voters of Bangladesh, the value of party BNP or person Khaleda Zia is zero while their allegiance to Bangladeshi nationalsm is extremely strong.
In this context Zia’s Bangladeshi nationalism plus Dr Yunus plus spirit of 1971 create a formidable force that will be extremely difficult for AL to defeat in a presidential or even parliamentary election.
Is this why the AL intellectual lathial bahini is in full war mode against Dr Yunus?
Option # 5.
Or there is something else that may come next? What do you think dear readers?