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Bangladesh - November 30, 2023

Now the game of dummy candidate

Syed Nasir Hossain: BNP is adamant about not participating in the elections under the current government. The party is busy with continuous movement. In such a situation, Awami League has decided to put dummy candidates ‘independent or rebel’ in most of the seats along with the party to make the election without BNP participatory and acceptable. Through this, the party wants to hold the upcoming 12th National Parliament elections. However, the ruling party has to face several challenges and crises in implementing such a decision.
Besides centralizing the general electorate, party chaos must be controlled. Also, there are doubts among political analysts about how festive this election will be and how acceptable the election will be at home and abroad, keeping out the main opposition party.
However, the responsible leaders of the ruling Awami League do not think so. According to them, a huge festive atmosphere has been created across the country immediately after the announcement of party candidates for the election. Even if there is a dummy candidate, there is no fear of conflict-violence.
Voting for the parliamentary elections on January 7. Awami League has announced the names of party candidates in 298 constituencies ahead of the elections. The letter of allotment of ‘boat’ symbol to the final candidates has been distributed by the party. The festival has started at the grassroots level. Awami League’s dummy candidate in such a situation. They are preparing to participate in the elections under the banner of independent. In this race, the party’s nominees are ahead. All in all, several leaders of the ruling party and their affiliated organizations are preparing for the polls in almost every seat across the country. Many people have also started buying nomination papers. As a result, since the main opponent is not in the field, in the 12th National Parliament election, the main opponents of the boat are the house candidates. Many candidates of the party are tensed about this. In the end, if the party’s dummy candidates are in the voting field, there will be a lot of chaos in the grassroots of the party.
However, Awami League said to be flexible about the rebel candidates to make the election without BNP acceptable and participatory. Still, many incumbent Awami leaders and some current members of parliament have announced to become independent candidates instead of being nominated. And there is confusion about what will be the position of the party regarding these candidates. In this regard, Abdur Rahman, member of the presidium of the party, told that the nominated candidate of the party should be informed to be elected as an independent candidate. If someone becomes an independent candidate without informing the party candidate, he will no longer be Awami League. Because a dummy candidate is one thing, an independent candidate is one thing and a rebel candidate is another. Violence is out of the question. Rather, those who go outside the party’s decision will be expelled from the party.
He also said that the party leaders and activists are committed to the party,confident of Hasina. The one he nominated – everyone accepted him. But some are moving towards the election with different pretexts. Organizational action will be taken against them.
And the member of the council of advisers Rashidul Alam told that the issue of dummy candidate is our leader’s decision. He has a lot of experience in elections. He made this announcement with every thought to make the election competitive.
Claiming that there will be no chaos as there are multiple candidates, he further said that letters have been given to the party candidates. Everyone rushed to their constituencies with letters. After the nomination papers are submitted, the election festival will start. There is no chance of any kind of disorder in the election. Because Bangabandhu’s daughter Sheikh Hasina knows exactly when to make a decision for the party.
Foreigners have been under pressure on the government since the election. They are paying careful attention to free, fair and acceptable elections. BNP will not come to the election. Based on such a decision, the party is busy in the movement. There has been apprehension about the acceptance of elections without BNP. There will be additional pressure on the Election Commission whether the general voters will turn out for the election or not. However, according to political analysts – how many political parties participated in the election is not a big deal – are ordinary voters able to freely exercise their voting rights in the election? Whether voters go to the polling station or not. They will be important. Then the election will be accepted. Otherwise, there is no chance to get acceptance of the election. However, if there is an election without BNP and there is a rebel candidate of Awami League, they think that the issue of chaos cannot be ruled out. With rebel candidates, the election is expected to end up on the path of violence.
Former Vice-Chancellor of Dhaka University AMS Arefin Siddique said that voters should have freedom to cast their votes in elections. If ordinary voters come to polling booths and vote in elections – that is what is meant by election participation and competition. Voting is festive with the participation of general voters. He also said that it is the decision of that political party to participate in the election or not. Elections can be said to be participatory only if the right of the people to vote can be guaranteed. He said, Awami League has given party candidates everywhere. Dummy candidates will also be given to make the election participatory.
It has been said from the side of the party, if someone wants to make an independent election. Then there is no problem. But those who are really popular will be elected. Voters will freely vote for their candidate. I believe that there will be no chaos this time. Although the party is talking about encouraging independent or dummy candidates, this time Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader said that independent candidates will not be free style.
He said, the issue of dummy candidate or independent candidate will be clear. But independent candidates will not be freestyle. Apart from this, it has to be seen who wants nomination from 14 parties. Winners must be nominated. The seats of the alliance will be coordinated.

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