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Democracy deficit

Political parties’ tendency to exert influence on govt, non-govt bodies evident

Over a span of three decades, Bangladesh’s multi-party democracy has turned into “partyarchy”, a tendency of political parties to exert overwhelming influence on state and non-state institutions.
It has resulted in a downslide in the rule of law, democratic accountability and state building — the three tenets of political development, says a study report on governance.
The report described these developments as “deficit in democracy” and “slow development of pluralism in the practices of democracy”.
The Brac Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD) launched the report titled “State of Governance Bangladesh 2013: Democracy Party Politics” at the Brac Centre Inn in the capital yesterday.
“Despite economic progress, Bangladesh’s democratic development has been hampered. It is a matter of serious frustration for the public,” said Dr Sultan Hafeez Rahman, executive director at the BIGD of Brac University.
Democratic development is in crisis globally. But it doesn’t mean Bangladesh has any scope for complacency, as “such underdevelopment” poses serious risks for the future, he said.
The study analyses the factors that influenced political underdevelopment, degree of democracy within the two major political parties, and the gap between intent and actual practice within the parties.

AGENCY, THE DAILY STAR

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