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Bangladesh voters go to the polls in one-sided election marred by violence | World Information

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Violence has been reported in Bangladesh as 120 million individuals vote in a common election that has a foregone conclusion.

There have been a complete of 18 arson assaults, together with 10 on polling cubicles within the final 48 hours, authorities stated.

On Friday, four people including one child were killed when a passenger practice heading in the direction of the capital, Dhaka, was set on hearth.

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4 {dead} after hearth on Bangladesh practice

A complete of 120 million individuals are eligible to vote in Sunday’s election – which can grant Sheikh Hasina a fifth time period in workplace, her fourth consecutive one.

The 76-year-old will then be the longest-serving head of state in Bangladesh‘s historical past.

The primary opposition, the Bangladesh Nationalist Social gathering (BNP) led by Khaleda Zia, has boycotted the election after demanding Ms Hasina steps right down to make method for a caretaker authorities that might organise a good vote.

Their name was met with a extreme authorities crackdown, which noticed no less than 11 BNP members killed and tens of 1000’s arrested by safety forces throughout protests final yr.

Bangladesh’s nationwide parliament, the Jatiyo Sangsad, has 350 MPs, of which 300 will probably be elected in Sunday’s vote.

The remaining 50 seats are reserved for ladies chosen by the ruling celebration or coalition authorities.

The election consequence will probably be declared on Monday, although no person is doubtful about who the winner will probably be.

A woman carries her child while casting her vote at the Dhaka Residential Model College voting centre, during the 12th general election in Dhaka, Bangladesh, January 7, 2024. REUTERS/Mohammad Ponir Hossain
A lady carries her little one whereas voting

Awami League, the ruling celebration, has dominated the nation’s political panorama for many years.

Ms Hasina, the daughter of the nation’s founding chief Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, has been praised for making its $416bn (£327bn) economic system one of many quickest rising on the planet.

She has additionally received worldwide reward for sheltering practically a million Rohingya Muslims fleeing persecution in neighbouring Myanmar.

Bangladesh is likely one of the largest ready-made garment exporters and clothes accounts for greater than 80% of the nation’s exports.

Ms Hasina has campaigned on her monitor document of modernising and enhancing the lives of greater than 4 million garment staff, most of whom are ladies.

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Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina arrives to cast her vote in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on Sunday 7 January Pic: AP Photo/Altaf Qadri
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina casts her vote in Dhaka. Pic: AP Photograph/Altaf Qadri

Nevertheless, the pandemic stalled the garment business’s development, and the rise of gas prices as a result of Russia-Ukraine battle has put an enormous pressure on the economic system, depleting international change reserves and weakening the home forex.

Bangladesh can be experiencing a cost-of-living disaster, which sparked violent protests final yr, earlier than a $4.7bn (£3.7bn) Worldwide Financial Fund (IMF) bailout cleared the primary evaluate in December.

Ms Hasina’s authorities has confronted allegations of being authoritarian, rigging elections, suppressing individuals’s votes and focusing on opposition events.

People buy snacks from a road side vendor as election campaign posters of Awami League are hung over a street, ahead of the general election, in Dhaka, Bangladesh, January 5, 2024. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi
Awami League marketing campaign posters on a road within the capital metropolis

Human Rights Watch condemned the arrests of opposition members final yr, and stated “the federal government’s autocratic crackdown will jeopardise future financial cooperation” with different nations.

The US additionally beforehand raised issues over human rights and imposed sanctions on two Bangladeshi safety officers for alleged extrajudicial killings.

Opposition chief Ms Zia has been underneath home arrest for over two years on corruption expenses, which she denies.

Her son, Tarique Rahman, the performing chairman of the celebration, is in exile in London. In August, he was sentenced to 9 years in jail for amassing unlawful wealth however he was not in courtroom for the decision.

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