Left wins massively in Bangladesh

5 posts / 0 new
Last post
Wilf Day
Left wins massively in Bangladesh

Sheikh Hasina's Awami League won a massive majority in the 300-seat Parliament. Unofficial results said that the Awami League had won 255 seats. Only 32 seats had gone to Begum Khaleda Zia of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), Mrs Hasina's bitterest rival.


The centre-left Awami League and its allies pulled off a stunning victory, winning a two-thirds majority in the single-chamber national assembly.

The Mohajot (Grand Coalition) alliance practically demolished its rivals, the centre-right Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and its Islamist ally the Jamaat-e-Islami. All top leaders of the Jamaat lost their seats.

The sheer scale of the Awami League's victory has left people searching for an explanation. Even the party's leaders appear to be taking a pause for thought.

"The Awami League was seen as an unfashionable, rather rustic party in the 1980s," said Muzammil Hussain, deputy editor of the daily Samakal. "But the party's manifesto this time as well as its campaign strategy had touches of modernity which appealed to the young."

The Awami League, formed in 1948, traditionally had socialist economic policies but Hasina, 61, has moved it towards backing private sector expansion.

It's Me D

I'd read this story but I know so little of Bangladeshi politics that I wasn't sure how to react. Seems you'd say this is a good thing Wilf? Though it seems they're not quite on the same level as the leftists who've come to power in nearby Nepal...

Wilf Day

With only two parties, one secular and centre-left, the other conservative and business-backed and supported by Islamists, it's not hard to pick a side.

But the last time Hasina won it was a very narrow majority. A strong government in Bangladesh is likely a blessing for the whole region, since Bangladesh is chronically the "sick man" of South Aisa.


Both parties are personality cults, I don't think left and right even enter into things. A strong third party, like the one M Yunus tried to form, might permit some actual change, but that seems unlikely. 

ceti ceti's picture

Awami League ran a lot of young first-time candidates, and updated their image. Also BNP's rule was catastrophically corrupt, so a repudiation of the party was in order. The Jamaat-e-Islami is actually made of those who collaborated with Pakistan's genocide in 1971 and were its chief participants. A lot of Bangladeshis have been waiting to prosecute them for crimes against humanity.