When Iajuddin Ahmed declared a state of emergency on 11 January after two months of political turmoil, he assured Bangladeshis that a newly constituted caretaker government would “hold a free, fair, neutral and acceptable election to Parliament within the shortest possible time, in consultation with all parties concerned”. In spite of the state of emergency, Bangladesh breathed a collective sigh of relief.
That relief has now dissipated, and in its place is mounting concern. The caretaker government’s mandate to hold ‘free and fair’ elections has now mutated into an all-encompassing anti-corruption drive. Continue reading