600000 security forces to oversee Bangladesh election

Dec 30, 2018, 06:40
600000 security forces to oversee Bangladesh election

She ordered border guards to open the frontier for Rohingya fleeing what many call a campaign of ethnic cleansing in August 2017, allowing more than 700,000 refugees to take shelter in camps near the city of Cox's Bazar.

It says that 9,222 workers and supporters have been arrested during the election campaign and that half of its candidates were attacked by ruling party supporters.

Under the decade-long leadership of Sheikh Hasina, 71, whose ruling party hopes to retain power in Sunday's vote, Bangladesh's economy has grown by more than 6 percent annually, lifting millions out of extreme poverty. They will stay until January 2.

With over 100 million registered voters and 300 seats in parliament, this is one of the largest national elections anywhere in the world this year.

The official campaign ended at 8:00 am on Friday after seven weeks of widespread street clashes and accusations of an official crackdown on the opposition. He said he did not question Hossain's patriotism, but argued that "the way that he is portrayed as a significant freedom fighter is very wrong".

But her government has been accused of suppressing dissent and jailing critics, including many supporters of the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP).

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In a recent interview, Awami League leader H.T. Imam handed Reuters photographs of people he called opposition "thugs" vandalising shops, setting fire to vehicles, and burning Awami League posters in Dhaka in November.

Human rights groups and opposition figures have warned that the December 30 election could be rigged despite promises of transparency from the authorities. Zia's BNP boycotted the 2014 polls. "She said, "tomorrow will bring us the opportunity to free the nation from dictators, so go to your voting centres in groups and disregard every intimidation".

The BNP, the main player in the alliance headed by Kamal Hossain, an 82-year-old Oxford-educated lawyer who drew up Bangladesh's constitution, has accused the election commission of bias, allegations it denies. "They are also working to ensure that voters are safe", said the Army chief. "Most of the violence was against opposition candidates and opposition activists", he says.

Most cases against the opposition are "politically motivated", Shujan's Secretary Badiul Alam Majumdar said.

"She has crushed the opposition and created a one-party dominant political system in Bangladesh", says Ataur Rahman, a political science professor at Dhaka University.

The writer is absolutely correct about the economic boom of Bangladesh during the last 10-year-rule of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Then the winning party or alliance will elect their prime minister, who forms a cabinet.

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"All parties have been victims of violence, including minorities and female candidates".

Polls will close at 4:00 PM (10:00 GMT). And other polls show her party remains popular.

The country has recently been in the worldwide spotlight as hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims have fled there from neighbouring Myanmar. The country's garments industry that generates sales of $30 billion a year, is booming. "If there is some kind of a decision in favor of the present government, I can assure you that it will not be a free and fair election".

Hasina was overseas in August 1975 when a group of renegade military officers assassinated her father, Bangladesh's first president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, his wife and three sons. "She has the advantage of incumbency", Tripathi said.

As a result, voter turnout was only 22 percent, according to Bangladesh's Election Commission. Bangladesh's foreign ministry said it was following due process.

Ataur Rahman, professor of political science at Dhaka University, says the opposition concerns are genuine. Dozens of people died in post-election violence.

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"Much work is still pending and it depends on the people casting a vote for us".

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