Happened to be at a house with a huuuuuuuge tv screen for New Year’s Eve. Blasting out was BTV from Bangladesh where it was pretty much wall-to-wall election coverage/ retrospectives. After several delays it looks like Bangladesh finally went to the polls peacefuly.
After witnessing voter registration with the Foreign Office delegation I was on earlier this year, when it was touch-and-go whether a peaceful election in Bangladesh would ever be possible, this feels very gratifying. The new government who are enjoying a massive majority are of the Awami League headed up by ex-pm Sheikh Hasina, who I caught delivering a talk at SOAS last year. A year ago I was blogging that the subcontinent has a better record of delivering women leaders than the west (both major party leaders in Bangladesh, Indira Gandhi, Benazir Bhutto etc). This underlines the point.
Loser also ex-PM Khaleda Zia is none too pleased but apparently not seriously contesting the result/ calling on her supporters to riot. There is not too much coverage in the UK-based media but CNN reports on results here. Let’s hope all that the reality behind the word that is so commonly associated with politics in Bangers “corruption” is banished forever – well it is new year so unrealistic resolutions are surely the order of the day.