chapter  15
15 Pages

Government Institutions

WithRobert C. Oberst, Yogendra K. Malik, Charles H. Kennedy, Ashok Kapur, Mahendra Lawoti, Syedur Rahman, Ahrar Ahmad

The goal of the newly independent state was to establish a socialist, secular democratic regime, but Mujibur Rahman became increasingly authoritarian, and the experiment ended in a one-party, single-leader government under him. Parliamentary government, which requires the party in power to work closely with the opposition and to have functioning committees in which opposition parties are also included, has not been institutionalized in Bangladesh. The new government was soon overwhelmed by the enormous reconstruction and rehabilitation challenges facing it after the immensely destructive conflict for independence. With Husain Muhammad Ershad's assumption of power, the state returned to the political point it had left with the gradual liberalization under Zia. The caretaker government was the subject of intense negotiations between the opposition political parties, and the government as Bangladesh was completing the first full term of a democratically elected government.