Global Praise Validates Bangladesh Government’s Legitimacy

Published : 08 Feb 2024 08:44 PM

The trajectory of Bangla­desh's 12th Parliament has been characterized by unwavering commitment, perseverance, and eventually, triumph. Although there were initial concerns about the election's legality, both domestic and international felicitations have been received, confirming the democratic procedure and the determination of the Bangladeshi populace. As we contemplate this important achievement, it is crucial to recognize the importance of these recognitions and their consequences for the future of Bangladesh's political environment.

The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP)’s choice to abstain from participating in the 7th parliamentary election on January 7th first raised concerns about the poll's validity and the credibility of the future government. Nevertheless, the decisive triumph and the ensuing expressions of congratulations from several governments and organizations, such as the United governments, the United Kingdom, the United Nations, and the Commonwealth, have eliminated any remaining doubt. Although there were some initial comments of displeasure from some groups about the electoral process, the international community has demonstrated a resolute dedication to enhancing its relationship with the government of Bangladesh.

The BNP's choice to abstain from the election not only eroded its credibility but also caused discomfort among its overseas friends. The government was under increasing pressure to guarantee a free, fair, and credible election, and the absence of the BNP further intensified these fears. Nevertheless, the election's participatory and celebratory character was highlighted by the 41.8 per cent voter turnout and the success of 62 independent candidates in defeating sitting Members of Parliament, including ministers. The lack of success of the BNP's non-cooperation movement in gaining support further confirmed the validity of the election and placed the party and its allies in a politically vulnerable situation.

The speedy acknowledgement from several nations, including major global powers, within a month of the election, has marked a pivotal moment for the political environment of Bangladesh. The universal recognition of the government's legitimacy not only confirms its validity but also strengthens its power both within the country and on the global stage. 

The government's receipt of recognition from other nations, including significant global powers, has successfully quelled any skepticism over the fairness and openness of the election. This validation acts as a strong affirmation of Bangladesh's democratic procedures and its dedication to maintaining democratic principles.

Furthermore, the worldwide recognition has had substantial ramifications for the BNP and its followers. The inefficacy of their boycott strategy and subsequent marginalization from the political mainstream has left them in a precarious predicament. The BNP's decision to abstain from participating in the election not only undermined its credibility but also highlighted its inability to adapt to changing political forces. As a result, the party is currently sidelined in the political sphere, struggling to preserve its importance due to the clear shift in power in favor of the current government.

To remain politically relevant, the BNP must address the daunting task of completing a significant overhaul of its strategies and mindset. This necessitates a thorough reevaluation of its political platform, messaging, and organizational structure. The party should initiate a process of introspection to find the root causes of its political losses and successfully address them. 

To do this, it is imperative to embrace a more encompassing and equitable stance, actively include a broader spectrum of voters, and foster internal cohesion and compliance with regulations.

Now a pertinent question is why did the US administration change its strategy towards Bangladesh? The United States' policy change towards Bangladesh is a response to the evolving geopolitical dynamics in the Indo-Pacific region. Given the continuous change in the global distribution of power, countries are increasingly recognizing the considerable strategic importance of Bangladesh in the broader geopolitical landscape. Bangladesh occupies a strategic position at the confluence of South Asia and Southeast Asia, rendering it a pivotal center for regional trade routes and maritime security.

Furthermore, Bangladesh's strong economic development and advancements have positioned it as a significant player in the global economy. With its expanding population and rapidly developing middle class, Bangladesh offers substantial market prospects for global investors and businesses. 

Moreover, Bangladesh's advantageous geographical position along the Bay of Bengal renders it an indispensable ally for nations aiming to strengthen their influence in the Indo-Pacific area. In light of this situation, the United States had few options except to acknowledge the outcome of the parliamentary election and enhance its connections with the newly formed government. The US may enhance its strategic interests in the area by actively involving itself with Bangladesh, which includes fostering stability, mitigating regional risks, and fostering economic collaboration.

Furthermore, the increasing impact of Bangladesh on the international platform offers prospects for improved collaboration and alliance between the two nations. Considering Bangladesh's increasing prominence in the region, there are abundant prospects for collaboration in several sectors including trade, defense, environmental issues, and progress.

After effectively establishing the validity of its government, Bangladesh is now able to pursue its incomplete objectives with renewed resolve. The indication of enthusiasm from prominent nations to enhance their alliance with the government gives a distinctive possibility for Bangladesh to pave a course towards advancement and growth. The government can achieve its objective of establishing a technologically advanced Bangladesh and strengthening its position as a significant participant in the area by implementing inventive policies and initiatives.

As we celebrate the term of the 12th Parliament, it is crucial to recall the altruistic deeds and obstacles that have brought us to this point. The accolades garnered from both local and international institutions serve as proof of the enduring nature of Bangladesh's democracy and the unwavering resolve of its population. Let us now make use of the opportunities that are in front of us and collaborate to construct a more promising future for all citizens of Bangladesh.

The writer is a Professor in the Department of Public Administration at the 

University of Rajshahi.