'Pay Up and Off You Go!' Buying Political Positions in Bangladesh
“You can now buy yourself a MP nomination the same way as you buy an air ticket to Singapore: pay up and off you go!” This statement by a Bangladeshi Member of Parliament illustrates a problem in current Bangladeshi politics; public positions are for sale. People with money are progressively getting party nomination and politics is becoming a ‘rich man’s game’.
This influx of businessmen is of increasing concern to observers and intellectuals, and the businessmen are accused of seeking position not in order to promote the collective interests of the business sector but rather to protect and expand their private businesses.
Several other examples exist in Bangladesh of political positions that have been up for sale. At the same time, one recent example exists of the contrary: voters refuted the sweet proposal of a lavish spender and voted in a less resourced candidate in the 2012 Dhaka mayoral election. This article presents some examples and discusses the trends of the politics-business nexus in Bangladesh.
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