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Bangladesh: Left Alliance on Streets, Seeks Elections Under ‘Non-Partisan’ Govt

Students and youth organisations have called for a mega rally to back the demand and condemn the government for “brutally suppressing” the movement.
Left Parties Bangladesh

Dhaka: The Left Democratic Alliance in Bangladesh held a protest rally recently (August 2) demanding that the upcoming 12th National Parliament elections in Bangladesh be held under a “neutral and non-partisan” government.

The Left political alliance has held various programmes recently to raise this demand. Apart from the coalition movement, individual parties are also holding programmes under their own banners to intensify their demand.

For instance, the Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB), one of the parties of the Left Alliance, has called for a rally on August 11 at the old Paltan intersection of the capital, Dhaka.

In the recent mega protest rally, the general secretary of the CPB Ruhin Hossain (Prince), general secretary of Revolutionary Communist League of Bangladesh, Iqbal Kabir, general secretary of Socialist Party of Bangladesh (BASAD) Bazlur Rashid, central member of Democratic Revolutionary Party Shahidul Islam and general Secretary of Bangladesh Samajtantrik Party, Abdul Ali addressed the protest rally.

The leaders claimed that almost all Opposition parties in the country were agitating to demand elections under a non-partisan government. However, the government was “brutally suppressing” the movement, they claimed.

The leaders accused the current government of not only taking away the democratic rights of the people but also criticised the language used by some ruling party (Awami League) leaders in the so-called 'peace rally' which showed that they “want to lead the country into a conflict situation.”

Demanding the immediate dissolution of the current Parliament and the resignation of the government, the leaders of the Left alliance said there is no other solution other than holding elections.

In the rally, the leaders also pointed out “various irregularities and corruption” of the current government. There are power plants but no raw material for power generation- because there are no dollars, they alleged, adding that Bangladesh’s economy was suffering today due to “unlimited corruption and looting, mega looting, abnormal expenditure increases in mega projects, money laundering, and bank embezzlement.”

The Left alliance also held the government's import-dependent energy policy, unlimited corruption, and looting in the energy and power sectors responsible for the current situation.

Along with the movement of the Left political parties in Bangladesh, Left student organisations are also holding various programmes and have announced plans to launch a larger movement in the coming days backing the demand for elections.

Left student organisations have formed a Democratic Student Alliance in, which includes Bangladesh Student Union (Eksan), Samajtantrik Student Front (BASD), Samajtantrik Student Front (Marxist), Revolutionary Student Alliance, Democratic Student Council, Bangladesh Student Federation (National Mukti Council), Revolutionary Student-Youth Movement, and the wider Chittagong Hill Tracts Student Council.

On August 1, they announced the new movement programme by holding a torch procession in the Dhaka University campus, demanding the resignation of the ruling Awami League government and an “end to attacks, prosecutions, and torture of the opposition parties.”

In a brief rally after the torchlight march held at Dhaka University, student union leaders said, "The ruling Awami League has been torturing people for the past 14 years. The price of daily essentials is increasing. Education is being commoditised. Discrimination exists on many levels today.”

Holding the “fascist character” of the Awami League responsible for this situation, the leaders said,” Our right to vote has been fraudulently taken away. When the movement against this fascism is gathering momentum, this government is trying to suppress the people in various ways. Attacking state forces and filing harassment cases. Our march against this government will be intensified. We invite everyone to participate in this march against Awami misrule.”

They announced that a student-public rally would be held on August 18 at the Shahbag intersection against the “fascist Awami League government.”

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