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Voting Begins Amid Opposition Boycott

2024-01-07 02:23:50

With an Opposition boycott, nearly 120 million Bangladeshis began voting on Sunday in the general elections expected to be won by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina who has held the position since 2008. The run up to the elections has been marred with incidents of violence and arson where at least five schools were set ablaze along with four coaches of a train on Friday, killing four people.

Sheikh Hasina, whose government has arrested thousands of rival politicians and supporters ahead of the polls, has urged pro-democratic and law-abiding parties not to fuel ideas that “disrupt” the country’s constitutional process, news agency PTI reported. The prime minister is credited with turning around the country’s economy and supercharging its garments industry. The growth has, however, slowed since mid-2022 and experts have said economic stability will be a major challenge for the next government. 

Opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) lead by former premier Khaleda Zia, 78, who is under house arrest as a convict of graft charges, boycotted the polls. The BNP is observing a 48-hour nationwide general strike which began at 6 am on Saturday and will end at 6 am on Monday.

Over 100 foreign observers, including three from India, will monitor the election. India has said the election is an “internal matter” while some countries, including the United States, have called for credible and inclusive polls.

Here are the LIVE updates on Bangladesh Elections:

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Bangladesh Polls Live: “They Are A Terrorist Organisation”: PM Hasina Attacks Opposition

Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said the main opposition party that has chosen to boycott the national elections is a “terrorist organisation”. “The Bangladesh Nationalist Party is a terrorist organisation. I am trying my best to ensure that democracy should continue in this country,” she said.

Bangladesh Polls Live: Elections In Numbers

  • 12th elections
  • 119.6 million registered voters
  • 42,000 polling stations
  • Voting held in 299 out of 300 constituencies
  • 1,500 candidates
  • 27 political parties
  • 436 independent candidates.
  • 100 foreign observers, including three from India

Bangladesh Elections,Sheikh Hasina,Awami League

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