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Bangladesh hold general election on Sunday: Sheikh Hasina aims fourth term with no opposition in fray

2024-01-06 17:17:57

As Bangladesh gears up for its general elections tomorrow (Sunday), the country is on high alert with increased security measures amid fears of potential violence.

These elections hold significant importance for India, particularly as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, a crucial ally, vies for a fourth consecutive term in office in the absence of the main Opposition.

The outcome of this electoral process is closely monitored by India, as it is expected to shape the political landscape of its eastern neighbour.

The main opposition, Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), and its allies have decided to boycott the polls, claiming that no election under the incumbent government would be ‘fair’ and ‘credible’. The BNP has called for a 48-hour nationwide general strike which began at 6 am and will end at 6 am on Monday.

BNP spokesman Ruhul Kabir Rizvi said the strike was aimed at pressing for their demands for “resignation of the illegal government, establishment of a non-party neutral government and release of all party leaders and activists from prison”.

Notably, BNP leader and former premier Khaleda Zia is under house arrest as a convict of graft charges.


With no major political opponents in fray, the primary contest revolves around the ruling Awami League and independent candidates.

With 11 crore voters participating, the fate of 1500 candidates contesting for 300 parliamentary seats in the Jatiya Sansad will be decided.

A total of 27 political parties are participating in these elections, with key players including former President HM Ershad’s Jatiyo Party, Trinamul BNP (an offshoot of the BNP), Islami Front, Islami Aikyo Jot, Krishan Sramik Janata League, Gana Forum, and Gana Front, among others.


In light of concerns over sporadic pre-poll violence, security has been intensified across Bangladesh. The Army, in collaboration with the Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB), has been deployed in country’s 42,000 polling stations to assist the police in maintaining law and order during the electoral process.

The Bangladesh Election Commission has said that it has nearly completed the preparedness for voting in all constituencies across the country and also ensured security arrangements.

The 12th general election in Bangladesh, conducted under stringent security measures, will be observed by more than 100 international observers, including three representatives from India.

Keeping in mind the ongoing violence, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Kazi Habibul Awal has warned that if there are any irregularities in the upcoming national polls, the election will be called off altogether.

“Vote rigging, ballot snatching, money transactions, and possible use of muscle power in favour of any candidate or candidates will be strictly resisted,” he said.

Voting to elect 300 members of Bangladesh Parliament will start at 8 am on Sunday and will end at 5 pm. The results are expected to start flowing from early on January 8.

Published By:

Sahil Sinha

Published On:

Jan 6, 2024

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