Since independence, Bangladesh has experienced different forms of systems and governments – from electoral democracy to military rule, from one party to multi-party system, and from presidential to parliamentary legislature. Likewise, the party system experienced noteworthy changes since the birth of Bangladesh (Jahan, 2015). During the first three years after independence (1972-1975), the country moved from a one party dominant to a single party system. During the 15 years of military rule (19751990) the emergence of state-sponsored political parties was observed with the control of government power, allowing multiple political parties to operate in opposition with certain restrictions. After the restoration of electoral democracy in 1991, there was initially (1991-2001) a two-party dominant system which later changed into two electoral alliances led by the two major parties. After a two-year military-backed caretaker government system (2007-2008), a one party dominant system was again flourished since 2009.
Political parties of Bangladesh have so far played an important role in this endeavour. The parties, particularly those in power, have contributed in the development of the country, and along with others, contributed in promoting democracy and good governance as well. Since independence, the major parties have expressed their commitments for establishing democracy and improving governance through electoral pledges, known as election manifestoes. A manifesto is a published verbal declaration of the intentions, motives, or views of the issuer, be it an individual, group, political party or government,1 through which a candidate or political party try to win an election.2When elected to power, a party will often claim that the contents of its manifesto constitute a mandate to introduce legislation to bring these policies into effect. Thus election pledges in manifestos give an overview of plans and policies of parties. The election manifestos create substantial public interests in the election time, as both media and concerned citizens had taken great interests in the manifestoes of the prominent political parties.
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