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Current 'political crisis' deeper than before: Prof Riaz

July 07, 2018 00:00:00

The 'political crisis' Bangladesh is now going through is deeper than that of past 46 years, said an international political analyst on Friday, reports UNB.

"To understand the reason behind the crisis and identify the future pathway of the country's politics, four things are needed to be looked at -- the current face of governance, reaction from the new class of social stratification, influence of Islamists on society and politics; and the role of India," said Distinguished Professor Ali Riaz.

Speaking at the 23rd monthly public lecture titled 'Future Trends of Politics in Bangladesh', organised by Reading Club Trust and Gyantapas Abdur Razzaq Foundation at Sirajul Islam Lecture Hall at Dhaka University, he said a hybrid 'regime' is going on in the country where ensuring everyone's participation and everyone's right to vote is a 'matter of big concern'.

Prof Riaz, who teaches at the Department of Politics and Government in Illinois State University, USA, called the current government a 'regime' because he said 'regime lasts longer than any government' using formal and informal institutions.

"All hybrid regimes are not the same. The most important factor is some of the aspects of such regime look like democratic while some others behave like autocratic," he said.

Claiming election as the only legal base to be there in power, Ali Riaz said: "After the 2008 election and the 15th amendment to the constitution, a new type of political system has come into the scene where election has turned into a tool of authority, rather being a tool of democracy."

After the cancellation of the caretaker government system, now it has become impossible to defeat the ruling party, he said adding that once there was a vibrant civil society in the country which is now missing.

"The benefits of the existing economic growth for the past several decades are being enjoyed by only a few groups of the country. The real income of general people is reducing while resources are getting concentrated by a small group of people," Ali Riaz observed.

The wages of workers in informal sectors have increased by 24.7 percent from 2010-11 to 2014-15 whereas the consumer price index has increased by 32 percent, which shows a gap of seven per cent, he said referring to the data from Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS).

Referring to the Household Income and Expenditure Survey of BBS in 2016, the Illinois State University professor said only 1.01 per cent of the total income of the country is earned by the 10 per cent poorest people.

"Six years ago, the percentage of the income was two which have come down to 1.01 per cent meaning the poorest people are becoming even poorer. On the other hand, the income of the richest 10 per cent of the population has increased from 35.84 per cent to 38.16 per cent in the last six years," Ali Riaz told his audience.

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