‘Democratic institutions in Bangladesh are getting stronger’

In an exclusive interview with the Dhaka Tribune, the expatriate who hails from Sylhet, said like all other Bangladeshis living abroad, he too was very concerned about what was going on in the country

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Sylhet city mayoral candidate from 14-party alliance Bador Uddin Ahmed Kamran speaks at press meet
Photo- Focus Bangla

The healthy atmosphere going into the upcoming city polls proved that Bangladesh has been developing and the democratic institutions were getting stronger, said MA Mukit, Deputy Speaker of London Borough of Tower Hamlets.

In an exclusive interview with the Dhaka Tribune, the expatriate who hails from Sylhet, also said like all other Bangladeshis living abroad, he too was very concerned about what was going on in the country, especially the city polls.

He said: “Many things and decisions depend on who becomes the new mayor.”

Mukit, also a Member of British Empire (MBE), is now in his hometown Sylhet on the occasion of tomorrow’s city corporation polls and will be here till June 18.

Mukit told the Dhaka Tribune: “In the Bengali community in England, the only topic of discussion in recent times is the city polls. Everyone is talking about the elections and many are even campaigning for their candidates through videoconferences. Many others have donated money for helping the campaigns of their candidates. But as far I know, nobody has raised any fund formally.

“It is good to see that this year the Election Commission (EC) is controlling everything with iron hands. Law and order situation is very good. I did not notice a single untoward incident in the city corporation area. We have seen in the past that people living within the election areas panics at such times.”

The MBE, however, said the only thing that needed to be changed was the use of loudspeakers and posters because these practices were strongly prohibited in other countries with strong implementation of democracy.

Mukit suggested that the EC should address these two issues.

He said the expatriate Bangladeshis had three major issues that needed to be addressed.

Firstly, he alleged that local musclemen in Sylhet often forcefully and illegally occupy lands, businesses, organisations, houses owned by the expatriates, to which the authorities concerned paid very little attention.

“Secondly, the expatriates are widely neglected despite their significant contributions to the economy of Sylhet and that of the country on the whole.”

“Thirdly, the authorities concerned must ensure an investment-friendly atmosphere. The expatriates want to invest in Sylhet. If the new mayor can ensure that then foreign investors will come up with fresh initiatives.”

The expatriates hoped that the new mayor would take necessary steps to address these issues, Mukit added.

The Tower Hamlets is one of the boroughs of London. These boroughs are principal local authorities of London and are responsible for running most local services. It has a population of about 254,000, which includes one of the highest ethnic minority populations in London, consisting mainly of Bangladeshis.

These boroughs are run by respective councils like the Tower Hamlets London Borough Council, of which Councillor Mukit is a Deputy Mayor.

Source: Dhaka Tribune

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