Sheikh Hasina’s reelection reflects Bangladesh’s resolve against external interference


Bangladesh’s 12th National Parliament elections culminated peacefully on January 7, with the Awami League, led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, clinching a decisive victory as anticipated bagging 222 seats out of 300 in the National Parliament. This victory secures Hasina’s fourth consecutive term, signaling her steadfastness as a seasoned politician unswayed by external pressures – particularly from the Biden administration. It underscores her commitment to the nation’s chosen path of development, resonating with the aspirations of many Global South nations for autonomy in pursuit of stability, economic growth, and social progress, steering clear of Western-induced geopolitical rivalries and its frantic bids of Bangladesh becoming a sole “disciple” of the West by abandoning its growing relationship with nations in the Global South – particularly India, China, Russia and the Middle East.

Under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh’s economy has flourished since the turn of the century, positioning itself among the world’s fastest-growing nations. This remarkable progress owes its success to several factors: political stability, a collective emphasis on economic advancement amid partisan conflicts, leveraging its labor advantage to become the world’s second-largest apparel exporter, and diplomatic maneuvers, notably balancing relationships with major powers. By strongly upholding the key principle of Bangladesh’s foreign policy – friendship to all and malice to none, Sheikh Hasina has successfully avoided Washington’s pressure on being getting isolated by accepting Biden administration’s prescription of showing undue rivalry to allies in the Global South and beyond.

Aligning with China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Hasina affirmed Bangladesh’s commitment to bolster cooperation for a “Golden Bangladesh,” actively engaging in BRI projects. China’s involvement in infrastructural and energy projects in Bangladesh has drawn praise and envy, stirring unease among certain quarters. Until October 2023, Beijing has implemented 21 bridges and 27 power projects in Bangladesh, while economic cooperation between China and Bangladesh is witnessing steady and significant growth. But unfortunately, such close economic cooperation between China and Bangladesh has aroused vigilance and resentment from some countries. Those nations attempted to press Sheikh Hasina is giving-up cooperation with China for meet their own anti-Beijing agenda.

Despite recent economic challenges due to the pandemic, Federal Reserve policies, and global conflicts, Bangladesh’s resilience remains somewhat fragile. The economic downturn and wealth disparities have influenced social stability and the electoral landscape. Yet, the opposition’s lack of governance experience and internal rifts pose limited competition to Hasina’s Awami League.

The primary challenge in the recent elections stemmed from external forces, particularly the US and its European allies. US interventions, urging “free, fair, and peaceful” elections, aimed at coercing Bangladesh into aligning with the Indo-Pacific Strategy and leveraging its influence in Myanmar, proved ineffective. Bangladesh’s elections proceeded smoothly, a testament to the government’s proactive diplomacy and the people’s choice.

Hasina’s reelection signifies Bangladesh’s distinct development trajectory, chosen by the majority in the Global South. It underlines their pursuit of self-reliant economies, regional stability, and a reluctance to embroil themselves in major power conflicts or adhere to Western-prescribed paths.

The reaffirmation of Hasina’s leadership also denotes continuity in Bangladesh’s foreign policy, maintaining equilibrium among major powers. However, whether the US accepts its policy missteps remains uncertain.

Continued interference or attempts at triggering a “color revolution” may dent the US’s international standing. Bangladesh’s resilience against external pressures stands as a testament to its sovereignty and the people’s resolve to carve their own destiny.

However, Bangladesh and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina remain vigilant on such Western conspiracy and shall continue to avoiding any undue pressure either from Washington or its Western allies and shall not join hands by compromising Bangladesh’s national interest.


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