Bangladesh Structures of Political and Social Influence

By | March 21, 2021

The political power center in Bangladesh (transliterated: pradhānꞋmantrī) is the executive branch and especially the cabinet (transliterated: mantrisabhā) chaired by the prime minister. It is customary for the party leader of the strongest party to be appointed prime minister by the president and tasked with forming a government. Since 1991 the prime minister has been identical to the party chairman of the strongest party. The prime minister is not only responsible for chairing cabinet meetings. He has the right to reshuffle the government and he is responsible for controlling the secret services, the armed forces and the paramilitary units. In contrast, the role of the president is essentially limited to representative tasks. In Bangladesh, the parties (Bangladesh) Awami League (transliterated: (Bāṃlādeś) Āoẏāmi Līg; abbr.: AL) and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (transliterated: Bāṃlādeś Jātīẏatābādī Dal, BienꞋpi; abbreviation: BNP) have been changing as the ruling party. The BNP (transliterated: Khāledā Jiẏā) established the government 1991-1996 and 2001-2006, always with Khaleda Zia as Prime Minister. The AL is currently the ruling party since 2009 with Sheikh Hasina (transliterated: Śekh Hāsinā) as Prime Minister. It was also a ruling party from 1971 to 1975 and from 1996 to 2001. Currently, 234 of the total of 350 parliamentary seats plus the parliamentary seats reserved for women are occupied by the AL. The AL thus has a parliamentary majority and has a significant influence on the legislature. Conversely, there is in fact no parliamentary control of the executive. The parliament decides de jure on the budget, decides on taxes to be levied, ratifies treaties or initiates constitutional changes. The AL also has a major influence on the candidate selection process for party and state offices. Due to the dominance of the AL and the lack of internal party democracy, however, the executive top has the exclusive say in draft laws. The BNP, formerly the largest opposition, had contested the election result and is now not represented in parliament. Due to its size and reach, as an extra-parliamentary opposition, it was able to generate powerful extra-parliamentary pressure through means such as general strikes (transliterated: harꞋtāl). For example, around 2015 in the course of incendiary attacks on public transport, general strikes or demonstrations, social and economic life in Bangladesh was temporarily brought to a standstill. The current AL government has built extensive networks in administration, law and the military. Individual families in particular have dominated the country’s politics and economy for generations. This also applies to the current Prime Minister, who is one of the daughters of the murdered ‘father of the nation’ (transliterated: jātir janak), Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (see above). Likewise, Khaleda Zia is one of the most influential members of the opposition, the widow of the autocrat Ziaur Rahman (transliterated: Jiẏāur RahꞋmān; abbrev.: Zia) who was murdered in 1981. Two parties thus dominate politics in Bangladesh, a country located in southern Asia according to thefreegeography. In addition, these parties are dominated by two people in particular – the current party chairperson. The dominance of individual people and groups of people can also be determined at other levels within the social and political conditions. Members of Parliament have great influence in their constituencies, where they have developed control over development-related resources regardless of the councils elected. Furthermore, student associations, farmers ‘and workers’ representatives are often associated with most of the parties. These represent important organizations for the external impact of the parties by organizing demonstrations, information events and the like. Non-governmental organizations are also very influential at times. In some cases, their financial resources exceed the local public institutions. For example, Islamic non-governmental organizations have increasingly tapped additional sources of money in the course of their official activities. You have become economically active by investing in transport companies, pharmaceutical companies, financial institutions and real estate.  The economist Abul Barkat estimates that the annual net income of Islamic non-governmental organizations alone is around USD 1.8 million. Almost 70% of the income comes from business activities; 30% of the funds come from abroad. USD is. Almost 70% of the income comes from business activities; 30% of the funds come from abroad. Almost 70% of the income comes from business activities; 30% of the funds come from abroad.

State security

In Bangladesh, the monopoly of force rests with the state. He is responsible for maintaining internal security and order. Often there is a lack of staff, infrastructure, equipment and training in order to guarantee complete security for minority groups or individual individuals or to make investigations following an assault a success and criminal prosecution of the perpetrator. In some cases, human rights violations take place with the tolerance or active participation of the police and other security forces. Ethnic minorities, religious minorities and homosexuals are victims of attacks by sometimes radical or Islamist groups. People who are critical Comments on the Bangladeshi government, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, Islam or the like have to expect attacks from different groups. Journalists, bloggers and academics are particularly affected by the frequent attacks up to and including murders. For these and other reasons, Bangladesh is ranked 146th out of 180 on the “Press Freedom Index” of the non-governmental organization Reporters Without Borders. As a countermeasure, the ruling Awami League party had a policy of ‘ Zero Tolerance”announced to terrorist organizations and illegal violence, including by the police. Most recently, the imprisonment of the photographer and journalist Shahidul Alam caused domestic and international criticism mainly because of his comments critical of the government and alleged misinformation.

Parliament building 2

Parliament building 2