Maiden Partisan Rural Local Government Elections: Bangladesh Experience

Md. Mashiur Rahman, Salma Nasrin

Abstract


A paradigm shift in the political system has been taken in Bangladesh on 12 October, 2015 with the final approval by the Cabinet to hold local polls on partisan basis. The long historical practice of non-partisan local polls has been shifted to first ever partisan poll that brought major challenges for the existing confrontational political parties of Bangladesh. Ruling Bangladesh Awami League considered demonstrating its popularity at grass-root level and controlled all political institutions through this election while Bangladesh Nationalist Party had opposed these partisan local government elections as a political trick with an ill motive by the government. For the first time in Independent Bangladesh, 9thUnion Parishad[i] (UP) election held on partisan basis at six phases across the country from March to June 2016. The article tried to explore the experiences of this maiden partisan UP polls and what are the immediate consequences on the local governance as well as electoral system through reviewing secondary materials specially the Daily Newspapers. Unfortunately massive violence, record deaths and uncontested elected Chairman, election frauds & irregularities, reluctant role of Election Commission, strong dominance of ruling party over electoral system were common phenomena in this maiden partisan election.


[i] Lowest tier of rural local government in Bangladesh

 


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/jpag.v7i1.10636

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