Political consensus is a must to maintain peace and stability in a country. Good parliamentary democracy can help a country to upgrade its status from developing to a developed nation. A true democracy scraps corruption and ensures accountability in investment and development projects. Political consensus protects a country from violation and terrorism; all the parties then become aware of the national interest of the country.” ***
Bangladesh achieved its independence in 1971 through a nine-month bloody war. Since the independence, the political situation of Bangladesh was not so much stable. Bangladesh experienced several military regimes. Parliamentary democracy was thwarted at the end of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s regime on 25th January, 1975 and Presidential Government was introduced through fourth amendment of the constitution.
After the assassination of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, military dictators took control the state power. And the political turmoil went all the year round during 1975. Because of the chaos made by the opposition, even Sheikh Mujib’s regime was not so much politically stable.
As an army general Ziaur Rahman took the state power when the country was in a turmoil condition. Before this regime, one parliamentary election was conducted and according to the constitution the tenure of the government should be five years respectively. But the first parliament was unable to complete their complete tenure in office because of military intervention. Second parliamentary election held in 1979. BNP won this election, but this parliamentary government was dissolved before their tenure.
After the first and second parliamentary election in Ziaur Rahman’s tenure, third and fourth parliamentary election was held in 1986 and 1988. One of these parliaments existed only for 13 days and another parliament only for a year. From 1975 to 1990 military took control of the state power. In 15 years there was less foreign investment. It is known to all that foreign investors made massive investment when there is political stability and peace in a country.
After 1991 the fifth parliamentary election took place, and BNP won. BNP also won in the sixth parliamentary election but this parliament was dissolved shortly. The seventh parliamentary election was held in 1996 and Bangladesh Awami League won the election. After that, in 2001, BNP once again won the eighth parliamentary election. In 20 years opposition political parties regularly called hartal, strike and other violent movements to change the regime. As a result the foreigners didn’t decide to make any massive investment in Bangladesh.
But the foreign investment scenario changed after tenth parliamentary election. Bangladesh Awami League won ten Parliamentary elections where 153 members were elected uncontested. The election was boycotted by main opposition party BNP. The country experienced turbulent agitation in street during 2013 to 2015. But the country didn’t experience any violent street agitation after 2015. As a result many believe Bangladesh was able to grab attention of foreign investors. Many differ this argument as well.
Bangladesh Awami League is running the government for successive two terms. The current parliament will be dissolved in 2019. China made a 38 billion dollar investment while 24 billion dollars is loan assistance and the rest is joint investment by the Chinese corporations.
In the recent visit of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to India, Modi government promised Bangladesh of 10 billion dollars investment. Earlier in 2015 Narendra Modi government promised of 2 billion dollar investment. Saudi Arabia and other countries expressed their interest to make massive investment in Bangladesh. Many foreign private investors also expressed their interest of investing in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh has been able to show courage to build Padma Bridge with domestic fund because the country is in a stable political condition and a single party running the government for two terms. The government has become able to undertake many development projects like road-bridges and other infrastructure connectivity project. In a turmoil political situation or in the fear of regime change the investors feared to make big investment.
Political consensus is a must to maintain peace and stability in the country. Good parliamentary democracy can help a country to upgrade its status from developing to a developed nation. A true democracy scraps corruption and ensures accountability in investment and development projects. Political consensus protects a country from violation and terrorism; all the parties then become aware of the national interest of the country.
Bangladesh is heading towards significant development through massive foreign investment and other big projects. We hope there would political stability in the coming days and the eleventh parliamentary election will be held in a fair and participatory manner, with the participation of all political party. If political stability remains in the country, Bangladesh’s dream of becoming a middle income country by 2021 and a higher income country by 2041 will be possible.