Bangladesh heads to polls amid high alert

Bangladesh heads to polls amid high alert


Bangladesh's Top Minister Sheikh Hasina at marketing campaign rally in Dhaka, 24 December 2018Image copyright

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Sheikh Hasina has dominated Bangladesh as top minister since 2009

Bangladesh is balloting in a overall election, with Top Minister Sheikh Hasina searching for her third consecutive term in field of job.

Safety forces are on high alert, with some 600,000 security personnel deployed all around the nation. Extra than 100m folks are eligible to vote.

Extra than a dozen folks had been killed in clashes between supporters of rival political events.

Ms Hasina is anticipated to favor, whereas her major rival is in jail for corruption.

Excessive-dart cell web has been ordered to be shut down unless after the elections, a call made to prevent rumours and propaganda from triggering unrest, an splendid said.

Quickly ahead of polls opened, a BBC correspondent saw filled ballotpacking containers at a polling centre within the port metropolis of Chittagong (Lalkhan Bazar, Chittagong 10 constituency).

When the presiding officer of the centre was asked about them, he declined to commentary.

Handiest ruling party polling agents had been demonstrate at that and a couple of alternative polling centres within the 2nd ideal metropolis of the country.

Why is that this election major?

Bangladesh is a Muslim-majority nation of bigger than a hundred and sixty million folks and faces disorders starting from presumably devastating climate swap to endemic poverty and corruption.

Since an Islamic Inform-claimed assault on an upscale bakery within the capital Dhaka in July 2016, the authorities has replied with an iron fist to position down Islamist militancy.

The country has recently been within the international highlight as 1000’s and 1000’s of Rohingya Muslims like fled there from neighbouring Myanmar. The authorities has been praised internationally for taking them in nonetheless faces gripping criticism for its human rights document in other areas.

The polls furthermore come months after tens of 1000’s formative years took to the streets in splendid numbers to state about boulevard deaths – in a rare point to of fury that the authorities and pro-authorities groups save down with force.

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Protests went on for a couple of days after two college students had been killed by a bus

“All we desire is corruption to be long gone and utilizing licences to discontinue being handed out esteem candy,” one 17-twelve months-dilapidated suggested the BBC in August.

The lead-up to the election has been marked by violence and a crackdown on dissent by a authorities that critics negate has only grown extra authoritarian at some stage in its 10 years in vitality.

Who’re the contenders?

Sheikh Hasina is head of the Awami League (AL) – which has bustle Bangladesh since 2009. She is searching for a third consecutive term.

Her father, the nation’s first president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, is well known as the founding father of unbiased Bangladesh. He was assassinated in 1975.

During the Nineties and early 2000s, Ms Hasina and her wide rival, Khaleda Zia, alternated out and in of vitality, with the two assuredly known as the “Battling Begums” (Begum is a title aged to consult with a Muslim lady of high frightful.)

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