Mr. Tarique Rahman, the Acting Chairman of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), has congratulated Keir Starmer, the leader of the Labour Party and future Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, on his victory in the national election. Rahman called on Mr. Starmer to use his influence to support democratic elections in Bangladesh, highlighting the potential impact of his actions on the democratic process.

On Friday, 5 July 2024, Mr. Tarique Rahman made a post from his social media handle on X (formerly Twitter), tagging Labour Party leader Keir Starmer. In his post, he wrote,

“Congratulations, @Keir_Starmer, on your historic victory. I wish you well as PM and hope you will play a role in voicing UK support for democratic elections in Bangladesh.”

For over a decade and a half, the people of Bangladesh have been deprived of the opportunity to exercise their voting rights in a democratic environment. The last three national elections have earned notoriety both domestically and internationally as ‘elections without voters,’ ‘midnight elections,’ and ‘dummy elections’ due to the direct interference of ruling party militants and politically biased administration and law enforcement agencies, forcing the public and opposition political parties to stay away from electoral politics. According to the 2023 Democracy Index published by the London-based Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), Bangladesh has slipped two places compared to the previous year, now ranking 75th out of 167 countries and regions. The organization states that Bangladesh currently has a ‘hybrid regime.’