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Elections in Bangladesh: Security in high alert before polls



  Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at election rally in Dhaka, December 24, 2018

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AFP / Getty

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Sheikh Hasina has been ruling Bangladesh since 2009 as prime minister

The Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina is aiming for a general election after his third term on Sunday, with more than 1

00 million people expected to vote.

Security forces are being recruited around the country with approximately 600,000 security personnel facing election alert.

More than a dozen people were killed in clashes between supporters of rival political parties.

It is expected that Ms. Hasina will win while her main opponent is in jail for corruption.

High-speed mobile internet was ordered until it was closed after the elections, a decision that prevents rumors and propaganda triggering riots, an official said.

Why is this choice important?

Bangladesh is a Muslim majority with more than 160 million inhabitants and faces problems ranging from potentially devastating climate change to endemic poverty and corruption.

Ever since an Islamic state claimed the attack on an upscale bakery in the capital Dhaka In July 2016, the government reacted with an iron fist to quell the Islamist militancy.

The country recently came under international spotlight when hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims from neighboring Myanmar fled there. The government has been internationally praised for having taken her, but she is being sharply criticized for her human rights record in other areas.

Months after tens of thousands of teenagers have also taken to the streets in large numbers to protest road deaths. in a rare show of anger, which the authorities and government groups forcibly relinquish.

Image Copyright
AFP

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Protests lasted several days after two students were killed by a bus

"All we want is corruption and driving license to stop being distributed like sweets," a 17-year-old told the BBC in August.

The preparation of the election was marked by violence and a crackdown on the dissent of a government that critics claim has only become more authoritarian in their ten years in power.

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Who are the competitors?

Sheikh Hasina is head of the Awami League, which has maintained Bangladesh since 2009. She is aiming for a third term in a row.

She father, the nation's first president, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, is celebrated as the founding father of independent Bangladesh. He was murdered in 1975.

In the 1990s and early 2000s, Ms. Hasina and her great rival Khaleda Zia moved in and out of power, with the two referred to as "Battling Begums" (Begum is a title) referring to a high-ranking Muslim woman.) [19659016] Image copyright
EPA

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Khaleda Zia is currently serving 17 years for two convictions for corruption

But after years of bloody power struggle, Ms. Hasina's Awami League finally gained the upper hand and has since held the government.

Ms. Zia's Bangladesh National Party decided to boycott the last election in 2014 because of the Awami League would not allow the elections to be held under a janitorial government.

Many analysts are wondering if this was a wise decision. Ms. Zia, who is still party leader, was jailed earlier this year on corruption charges in a case she claimed was politically motivated.

Due to her recent convictions, she was not disputed in this year's election.

19659011] Will the elections be fair?

Many activists, observers and the opposition party say that this will not be the case.

And an opposition alliance led by the BNP argues that the Awami, if the vote was actually free and fair League would not be able to win a majority.

Human Rights Watch says the government has launched an intimidation campaign before the vote.

"Members and supporters of major opposition parties were arrested, even killed or even killed, creating an atmosphere of fear and oppression that is incompatible with credible elections," said Group Asia Director Brad Adams.

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EPA

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Around 600,000 security personnel were deployed across Bangladesh prior to the survey

According to the BNP, hundreds of thousands of lawsuits were filed last year against members and activists of the police.

The government has denied that it is directed against the opposition.

Interior Minister Asaduzzaman Khan told Reuters: "No BNP workers were arrested or detained without a warrant or specific charges, and there is no question of murder or murder."

What commitments were made?

The largest opposition group – the Jatiya Oikya Front, which includes the BNP – says it will lift restrictions on freedom of expression and the media when elected. [19659007AlsotheGovernment'saccountabilityissaidandpromisedtointroduceaformoftermlimitsandtocreateaHouseintheParliament

An Islamist party affiliated with the BNP – Jamaat-e-Islami – is not allowed to participate, but more than 20 members are running as BNP candidates.

Ms. Hasina said the opposition alliance promotes "war criminals".

Your party is running a platform to boost GDP growth in Bangladesh to 10% and create more than 15 million jobs over the next five years.


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