A survey, pessimism and the caretaker government issue

Secondly, in the focus group discussions, an urban woman in Khulna said, “If I say anything about political issues now, I fear that I may even be killed.” Similarly, in Mymensingh a rural woman said Awami League is on power now. If BNP tries to come out and campaign, they are attacked.

It is clear that everyone did not speak their minds openly out of fear in the survey. They may not have been able to trust those taking the survey.

Many question thus may arise about the survey, and already have, at least on the social media. It is extraordinary that in the entire survey, the majority of the people  have expressed their dissatisfaction with the country’s politics, economy, democracy and the future of the country. And 63 per cent of the people approved of or supported the opposition’s activities. 69 per cent were against elections under a party government, of which 44 per cent wanted elections under a caretaker government and 25 per cent under a government made up of all parties.

Also, 92 per cent of the people were eager to vote, indicating that they people of the country are waiting expectantly for a credible election. There was probably a reflection that the last two elections under Awami League were not credible – 55 per cent of those who said they would not vote in the next elections, said that their votes had been cast by others.

From the focus group discussions it was also apparent that people are not interested in an election without participation of the opposition. A rural youth of Chattogram said, “If there is no opposition party, who will I vote for?” A rural woman of Mymensingh said that the opposition must send out a message that there is someone who can stand up against the government.

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