On 30 July, elections in Rajshahi, Barishal and Sylhet city corporations were held amid election boycott, allegations of rigging, ouster of polling agents, violence and other irregularities. The common picture of the three cities was that the ruling party activists wearing badges of boat, the electoral symbol of AL, turned up in huge number and took control of the premises, entrances and even inside of the many polling stations in gross violations of the electoral law. (Daily Star, July 31, 2018). The elections were the exact replication of the Khulna and Gazipur city corporations’ election held earlier this year. The city elections are the last major polls before the next general election expected to be held in December this year.
Under the secular-democratic system, vote rigging is the main feature of election. Democracy claims that ‘people are the source of all power’ but in Bangladesh, the election shows how helpless these people are under this corrupt system. Many people might contend that the lack of democracy is the reason behind this unfair and manipulated elections. In reality, these are the consequences of the man-made, egocentric political ideology. The countries that are on the pinnacle of ‘democratic rule’ like USA, France and the like are also marred with election engineering and vote rigging. Thus we see in those western countries also that democracy is struggling hard. Over the last 25 years, the average global voter turnout rate has dropped by more than 10% (World Development Report, 2017). For the secular democratic system, ballot is the strongest instrument to account the ruler. It believes that since at the end of the tenure the ruler has to stand in front of the people asking for mandate, he/she will be responsible and diligent during his reign. But in reality, we see that during his tenure the rulers indulge in corruption and learn the mechanism of manipulating the election.
People of Bangladesh have lost their confidence in the election as a means to change their condition. No change will come through the election. So, we must stand strong to change this corrupt system and re-establish the rightly guided Khilafah (Caliphate) system because the Khalifa (Caliph) will base all his actions on taqwa (fear of Allah) which will ultimately make him responsible and accountable.
Media Office Member of Hizb ut Tahrir in Wilayah Bangladesh