The election cycle of 2024 started today at 8 am. And the beginning is with Bangladesh. At least 57 countries will have state level elections this year. This list includes America, Russia, India, United Kingdom, South Africa, Iran, Pakistan and many more countries. Apart from this, the election of non-permanent members of the European Parliament and the United Nations Security Council is also very important.
This election is very important in terms of Bangladesh. Because 16 registered political parties, including BNP, one of the major parties, have boycotted this election. Along with the international, especially the surveillance of western countries including America. Post-election bans may come from various countries – a campaign that is in full swing. BNP and other parties are calling for election boycott and hartal. As a result, it is a big challenge for the Election Commission to finish the polls properly.
CEC Kazi Habibul Awal, however, in his address to the nation yesterday (January 6, 2024) evening clarified the responsibility of the commission and the political parties. He said the elections were not being ‘participatory as desired’. But being participatory and competitive. It is logical for him to say this. Because even though 16 registered teams did not come, the remaining 28 teams did. So as the head of a constitutional institution he could not say more than that. However, he promised to make the polls fair by using the powers of the commission. The commission canceled the polling at a center in Narsingdi on allegations of fake voting within two hours of the start of polling, but it kept its word.
An important part of the CEC’s statement is that there is no consensus among political parties on the method of elections. This is real. Although the political parties brought their demands to the public, they did not sit for any kind of discussion. If the country is run by politicians, that is what is necessary in a democracy, then they have to sit in a discussion among themselves. Whether it is public or private. Can even be mediated by someone. And the wrestling that we have started on this, it is possible to make a person kupokat, but the democratic system cannot continue. In this regard, a decision should be reached in the argument over tea and tea at the discussion table. There is no such thing as winning or losing, there is consensus. Our political parties have not been able to cure the incurable disease of lack of consensus on any issue. Which is never desired.
Many media and experts consider the voter’s presence as the criterion to consider this vote acceptable. Surely that is a criterion. Voters have been asked to vote without fear from the Election Commission or the ruling party. It is difficult to say how convinced the general electorate will be. Because they can be blamed if they don’t feel safe in the violence or vandalism they witnessed before the polls. As the day progresses, the number of voters is increasing. So will it be acceptable if 50 percent or more votes are counted, and not if it is not?
Let’s see how the voter turnout rate in other country’s elections. According to calculations, about 35-40 percent of voters in western countries including America are not centrist. The situation is the same in India or Nepal, the world’s largest democracy and our immediate neighbour. This is the situation even after the ‘free, fair and impartial’ polls there. This low voter turnout is also a major weakness of the democratic system. You can conquer the world with the use of modern technology or your smartphone, but you have to stand in long queues and burn a lot of wood to prove it. Many may not be enthusiastic about it. Especially in western countries. Recently, in a survey in America, young people were asked why they are averse to politics. Their blunt answer is, politicians don’t think about us; We don’t think about them either.
What do you say? What would be your response if your teenage son in this world had the same attitude as his American friend? As a result, no measure has been fixed as to what the number of votes will actually be in the criteria of acceptance. Another problem with democracy is that just as too few votes are unacceptable, too many votes are also questionable. Perhaps political scientists can tell where the correct application point will be in the swing of these two.
The election ledger opened today by Bangladesh will continue to be filled with various information throughout the year. And the future of your-my-world will be fixed through this writing. There are thousands of uncertainties in that text. Will Trump, who is leading in terms of popularity in the polls, be a candidate for the November election? What about Zelensky? Will his Western friends bring him back to the mattress? Can Narendra Modi be the Prime Minister of India for the third time in a row? After the election, will China sustain Taiwan in the same way? There are questions, no answers. For this reason, there will be a wait throughout the year. And all of this will depend on our good or bad. Bangladesh is there in the Indus.
Author: Executive Editor, Digital Division, Independent Television