Is the report card enough for AL?

Farid Hossain
Wednesday, May 31st, 2017
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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been in power at a stretch since 2009 for nearly eight years. Her current five year term is scheduled to expire in January 2019. That means she has another two years before she and her ruling Awami League (or the AL-led alliance) face the general election to form the country’s 11th parliament. So the next two years are crucial for the Awami League and its leader. The ruling party has already launched its preparation for the next polls. The prime minister, who is also the president of the Awami League, has sent a loud message to its MPs in a recent speech. No one should take his/her position guaranteed. Whether one gets ticket for the next election will depend on one’s report card. The performance _ not merely flattery of top leadership _ will be the key to get nomination. So, the next two years are also crucial for the sitting AL MPs to prove their worth and credibility. The Awami League has a good practice of choosing the candidates largely on the basis of the votes held among grassroots members and activists. The grassroots usually make the right decision. In addition to their judgment there are assessments done through party’s other channels too. It is not easy to pass through these tests quite easily.


As the Awami League prepares to face yet another general election test in next two years, it has an impressive card of performance. The Awami League can hope to ride on the many success stories written by the government led by Sheikh Hasina. The momentum of development that was set in motion in 2009 has got more energy injected into it. In a record-making economic feat Bangladesh is set to register a 7.24 percent GDP growth at a time when the world economy is still struggling to shrug off the gloom. India is another country in South Asia that can match Bangladesh’s impressive economic growth. The prospects for achieving more accolades on the economic front are no doubt bright. Agriculture has shaped up well with investment in infrastructures adding new jobs, even though it is still a long way to go to fully resolve the problem of unemployment. The government is also tackling well another challenge: improvement in the quality of job.


The Awami League’s Report Card is full of many other good results. With regard to the production of power the AL government has taken the country to a new height. The capacity of producing electricity has gone beyond 14,000 MW, just from 3,500 MW in the early 1990s. True, supply and transmission of electricity still lag behind the capacity. However, the government has started doing the right thing in this aspect of electricity too. Repairing the old transmission lines and building new ones are getting priority.  Hopefully this aspect will witness much improvement sooner than later. The government has chalked out a grand roadmap to add thousands of MW of electricity as Bangladesh races to assume the status of middle-income nation by 2021 _ in four years from now. Electricity is driving the economy with its desired force and it is one of the reasons why Bangladesh’s economy has grown by 7.24 per cent.


Apart from internationally recognized improvement in social sectors, empowerment of women, reduction in child and maternal mortality rates, schooling and jobs for women Sheikh Hasina’s government is also credited with ensuring a political stability that has made it possible to pursue and implement its agenda.


One can be good in performing, but poor in communicating. It is important for the Awami League to take its impressive report card to the people who matter most in bringing it back to power.



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