After a nearly two-year interlude of authoritarian rule, Bangladeshis voted decisively for democracy, a secular approach to politics, and the center-left. The challenge now is to show that parliamentary democracy can deliver stability and socioeconomic progress.
While the people of South Asia, especially those with higher levels of education and exposure to the media, prefer democracy to authoritarianism, they are willing to relax some of the requirements of liberal democracy.
The incentives created by competitive elections in a number of Muslim-majority countries are fueling a political trend that roughly resembles the rise of Christian Democracy in twentieth-century Europe
Recent parliamentary elections showed the continuing strengths and weaknesses of Bangladeshi democracy. Although the country does have strong political parties and a decade of democratic elections, the intense antipathy between government and opposition will continue to cause problems well into the future.