Ali Riaz at the podium

Distinguished Professor Ali Riaz

Ali Riaz has published a commentary on the political impasse surrounding the forthcoming election in Bangladesh. Riaz argues that the prevailing political environment is far from suitable for holding an inclusive election, let alone a free, fair and acceptable one.

In the commentary titled ‘An Unavoidable Question,’ Riaz wrote that the growing polarization and the attitude of the ruling party have added to the concerns of the citizens: Will there be an election? Which parties will participate? Will it be a repeat of 2014? Will voters be able to cast their votes? The anxiety is real, yet the ruling party is not even recognizing it.

Published in the Daily Star of Bangladesh, the government’s actions in recent days, particularly towards the newly formed Jatiya Oikyafront (National Unity Front) led by Kamal Hossain, are sending the message that it is not only unwilling to create a level playing field but instead would create as many hindrances as possible for all opposition parties prior to the election, particularly those which might pose a formidable challenge.