The people of the country expect transparency and fairness in the upcoming general election. Even after four decades of independence, the election system has repeatedly been questioned. The history of boycotting opposition political parties has been witnessed time and again. BNP boycotted the third parliamentary elections; many political parties, including Awami League, BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami boycotted the fourth parliamentary elections. And what happened in the 2014 general elections is still fresh in our memory.
The people of the country want a change. We want to be able to exercise our constitutional right and take part in a free and fair election in which all political parties participate. For this, all political parties need to come together and shed their differences keeping in mind the greater good of the country. The government should also work to foster such an environment—for example, by not suppressing the media. Due to the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh has now become eligible to graduate from the LDC category. We have come a long way in areas of health, education, agricultural development, poverty reduction, trade, etc. But it is equally important for people to be able to freely exercise their fundamental rights such as the right to vote. Otherwise, progress of the country will be hindered.
Mohammad Azaharul Islam
Shahjalal University of Science and Technology