Parties with names only becoming active

Shining BD Desk || Shining BD

Published: 11/9/2022 7:00:02 AM

In the run-up to the next general election, numerous political parties that only exist in name are becoming more active.

To gain political clout, leaders of such tiny parties have begun keeping connections with the top echelons of the ruling Awami League (AL), Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), and Jatiya Party (JP).

The BNP and the Awami League, which is in power, both have two political coalitions. While the BNP maintains a 20-party alliance, the ruling party continues its 14-party partnership.

Outside of the two main political alliances, a number of groups have ties to the Jatiya Party, the biggest opposition party in parliament. There is also the Left Democratic Alliance (LDA), an alliance of leftist political parties, and the "Ganatantra Manch."

Before the previous general election, Jatiya Party had formed a political alliance of 58 parties. Most of the components of the alliance were name only parties and have no organisation or office.

Election Commission sources said there are 39 political parties registered with the commission and those parties fulfilled their conditions for the registration. At the same time, around 90 political parties have applied for registration with the EC.

However, except only around 10-15 political parties, most of the parties have no strong organisational structure while many of the parties are one-man show and carry out name only activities. A number of parties have no office and activists or supporters.

“There are many small and name only political parties in the country those are active only ahead of elections just to gain some interest. Many others are also involved in nomination business. Such activities should be stopped,” former Election Commissioner Brig Gen (retd) M Sakhawat Hussain told the Daily Sun.

Mentioning that the Election Commission has launched registration process of the political parties for holding the election, the former election commissioner further said the government should introduce political party formation rules and regulations to stop the activities of the name only parties.           Sources said many political parties that do not have their own offices or activists have applied to the Election Commission for registration while some parties have shown workplaces, houses, shops, chambers or business establishments as offices.

The office address of one of them is missing. Some parties are only in paper but they have no activities in Dhaka or outside the country. Despite this, they are optimistic about the registration as many have given ‘fabricated’ information, the sources added.

BNP sources said except four to five parties, most of its allies of 20-party alliance have no organisational strength or permanent office. On the other hand, the same scenario is also seen in ruling Awami League-led 14-party alliance and other alliances.

Though a number of political parties left the BNP-led 20-party alliance, the number of components in the coalition is still the same as factions of several parties have been added to it. And the factions are running only by one person of each.

Sources inside the parties said a number of political parties, including National Democratic Party (NDP), Jatiya Janata Party, Bangladesh Ganasangskritik Dal, Bangladesh Janata League, Bangladesh Sharia Andolon, faction of Bangladesh Labour Party, Bangladesh Muslim League, National People’s Party (NPP), Shamyabadi Dal faction, Democratic League, Islamic Party, People’s League, Bangladesh Jatiya Dal and Natundhara Bangladesh, have no activities in the political field.

Sources in Awami League and BNP said many small parties approach the two parties to be part of their alliances ahead of the general election and they also seek nomination for their candidates to contest the parliament elections and other local government elections.

“Even some parties bargain to get nomination for their candidates as they sometimes sell the nomination at high price to candidates. This is their income ahead of the polls,” a central leader of the BNP told the Daily Sun wishing not to be named.

This time, ahead of the next general election, the small parties have increased their activities as they are running to join either with Awami League-led alliance or with the opposition BNP. Most of the parties want confirmation of their interest from the parties.

According to the Election Commission, a political party would need to meet at least one criterion out of three for registration. As per the third clause, the party needs to set up a functional central office, by whatever name it may be called with a central committee, having offices at least in one-third administrative districts, and offices in at least 100 upazilas or metropolitan thanas and the party must have a minimum 200 voters as its members in each upazila.

Of the parties which have sought registration to EC this time, people do not know about the activities of most parties, including Mushkil League, Ittyadi Party, Nakful Bangladesh, Boiraboiri Party, Forward Party, Jatiya League, Sharbojonin Dal, Bangladesh Bekar Samaj and Mukta Rajnoitik Andolon.


Source: Daily Sun 

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