Bangladesh’s Fresh Start

Issue Date July 2009
Volume 20
Issue 3
Page Numbers 41-55
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Recent elections have re-established procedural democracy in Bangladesh. An alliance led by the center-left Awami League defeated a nationalist-Islamist coalition by a landslide. Democratic consolidation will depend on the new government's ability to deliver basic justice and security, which had deteriorated alarmingly since 2001 under a corrupt and semi-authoritarian government that gave Islamist extremists a free reign in an otherwise moderate country and prompted eventually a military takeover. Despite pressing economic needs, the government will now need to invest in rebuilding state and democratic institutions to reduce the lingering threats of extremism and authoritarianism.