Hopes for the new year | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 01, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, January 01, 2009

Hopes for the new year

New day dawns for Bangladesh

THE success of the recently concluded elections and expectation of a peaceful transition back to a democratically elected government augur well for Bangladesh, and we look forward to the coming year with a great deal of hope that the country is back on the right track.
Last year was one of uncertainty and anxiety. We were coming off a cataclysmic cyclone and entering the second year of emergency rule, and no one knew what was in store for the nation. The early portents were not good as the global economy started to stutter and there was considerable disquiet in the domestic political sphere.
But the caretaker government did a god job of weathering the economic storms and, after lots of political drama and ambiguity, was able to fulfill its pledge, and deliver us a free, fair, and fully participatory election by the end of the year.
As the year ends, we must give kudos to both the caretaker government and the Election Commission, and indeed our armed forces for their role in preparing the voter list, for, in the final analysis, delivering when it mattered the most.
The return of democracy is the best augury for the new year. Two years of transition rule and emergency was more than enough. The people were mature and willing to wait in the hopes of getting a good election and a reformed polity, and their patience has been largely rewarded.
We hope that, moving forward, the dysfunctions in our polity will be cleared up. There has been much needed institutional reform and the pledges and early statements of the in-coming government have been very positive. We hope that the time has come for the country to put the past behind us and take a giant step forward.
Ultimately, the people are sovereign in Bangladesh and always will be. If our leaders continue to understand this and to listen to the voice of the people, then the future is very positive for the country.
As the year begins we know we have many challenges ahead of us and that it will not be easy. But as we step into the bright sunlight of a new year we are confidant that the country has turned a corner. We are confidant that as our democracy is renewed, that our nation will be re-energised too.
We wish our readers, both inside the country and out, and all our fellow countrymen and women a very happy new year.

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