12 March 2012, Mon

Five Years of four-party alliance government

In the wake of the 2001 general election, a four-party alliance was formed in order to get rid of all forms of misrule, to protect the freedom, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country, to undertake programmes of economic reconstruction and poverty alleviation, to restore press freedom, to wipe out terrorism and corruption, to re-establish the fundamental rights of the people, to give democracy an institutional shape and to ensure genuine voting rights of the people. The four-party alliance announced to take part in elections unitedly under one banner and, if elected, to form a coalition government. The country witnessed a voting revolution in 2001 in a real sense, and the four-party alliance was elected to power by the people by a big margin.

According to its announcement, the four-party alliance formed the government. As part of the alliance, Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami shared power for the first time. From amongst the 300 seats in the national parliament, Jamaat had 17 and it had 2 ministers in the government. Later on, Jamaat had 4 additional female members of parliament from among the 30 reserved seats for women. After running the country successfully for five years, the four-party alliance transferred power to a care-taker government on 29 October 2006. Success of Jote Sarker

During the rule of the Jote Sarker:

> Effective measures were taken to wipe out terrorism from the country.

> Efforts were made to create stability in political culture and to create an atmosphere of peaceful political co-existence.

> Gross national income and economic growth were increased by 7%.

> Huge progress was made in order to achieve self-sufficiency in food.

> Per capita income was increased from US$340 to US$482. Development expenditure by domestic resources was increased from 42% to 58%.

> Through a poverty alleviation programme, the poverty rate was reduced by 9% and the extreme poverty rate was reduced from 24% to 18%.

> Measures were taken to maintain a favourable investment climate in order to attract foreign investment.

> As part of initiatives to expand female education, the government undertook female education stipend programmes, separate vocational training and other institutional education for women.

> The disability benefit system and a programme of interest-free loan for the disabled were introduced.

> Education, health and medical services were expanded.

> A national pay scale was introduced.

> Information technology was made easily available and the country entered the information superhighway. There was huge expansion of telephone and mobile phone services.

> Within a short time, with the help of the people, especially the ulama of the country, extremist bombers were apprehended, their network was destroyed and they were taken to the court and tried speedily.

> Education was given the utmost importance and was given the highest budget allocation. All measures were taken to ensure that students do not adapt unfair means in examinations, and thus to develop them into competent and useful citizens.

> The madrassa stream of education was given equal importance. Fazil and kamil were given bachelor and masters degree equivalence respectively.

> It was decided to recognise the certificates of the quomi madrassa system.

> A huge number of schools, colleges and madrassas were established.

> The country witnessed huge infrastructural development.

> The rural economy was given a significant boost. In addition, the Jote Sarker took many other welfare programmes in order to develop the country into a stable, prosperous and democratic state.