Dangers of one-sided elections
As putting up a respectable voter turnout becomes a major target of the government in absence of any effective opposition, a number of vulnerabilities have surfaced which may be exploited to achieve the goal.
The first and foremost of them is the weak contestants against the AL candidates. Some of them are so weak that they even do not have the ability to assign their polling agents to all the polling booths to check vote rigging.
Take Chittagong-9 as an example.
Here Workers Party's Mohammad Abu Hanif is contesting against Jatiya Party's Ziauddin Bablu.
There are 143 centres and 680 booths.
Hanif told The Daily Star that he does not have the money to appoint polling agents to all these booths. All he can try to do is to assign one agent to each centre.
So in such a situation, the stronger candidate can manage fake votes if the presiding and polling officers comply.
Many of the presiding and polling officers are government employees. Since this election is being held under the AL government, which is certain to retain power after the election, the neutrality of such officers is now under question.
The election administration formed with bureaucrats, many of whom are overwhelmingly politicized, is also another vulnerable spot.
And the guarantee of a photo voter ID to check against fake voting may also fall flat if the officers feel weak.
The other vulnerability arises from the lack of observers this time as the western countries refused to send any. Domestic observers will also be few. This will open up chances for rigging.
And the fourth vulnerability arises from the lack of enthusiasm among the voters themselves. Elections are mainly observed by the voters and if they turn out in low numbers, this basically would leave the voting unchecked.