Voting today in Bangladesh, will Sheikh Hasina become PM for the fourth time amid opposition's boycott? Know every update - Newztezz Online

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Sunday, January 7, 2024

Voting today in Bangladesh, will Sheikh Hasina become PM for the fourth time amid opposition's boycott? Know every update

General elections will be held in Bangladesh on Sunday amid tight security. It is almost certain that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will be elected Prime Minister for the fourth time in the general elections, because the opposition party BNP has announced to boycott the elections raising the question of fairness. On the call of BNP, a 48-hour strike has started in Bangladesh.

There is a general election in Bangladesh on 7th January i.e. Sunday. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Awami League-led coalition are preparing to return to power for the fourth consecutive term. Sheikh Hasina is almost certain to become the next Prime Minister, as the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) led by former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia is boycotting the elections. Bangladesh's main opposition party has launched a 48-hour general strike ahead of the country's general elections.

The Election Commission said voting will begin on Sunday and will last for eight hours at more than 42,000 polling stations across the country. Ballot boxes have been sent to prepare for voting.

Ailing Khaleda Zia is currently under house arrest. Let us tell you that only yesterday an incident of violence took place in Bangladesh. There was an arson attack on a passenger train and at least five people were killed.

Tight security during voting in Bangladesh

There are approximately 120 million voters in Bangladesh, of which women constitute almost half. Specifically, approximately 15 million first-time voters are expected to participate. A record 5.1% women candidates are in the fray and nearly 2,000 candidates are competing for 300 directly elected parliamentary seats. Allegations of “dummy” candidates have been made, particularly by the BNP, with claims that the Awami League aims to create a façade of credibility in the elections.

With an eye on maintaining order during the elections, Bangladesh has deployed adequate security mechanisms. Around 800,000 personnel, including police, paramilitary forces and police assistants, will be deployed to ensure smooth voting process. The Army, Navy and Air Force have also been deployed, along with 127 foreign observers monitoring the election proceedings.

Let us tell you that the Jatiya Sangsad, the unicameral parliament of Bangladesh, has 350 members, out of which 300 are elected every five years through the first-past-the-post system. Additionally, 50 seats are reserved for women appointed by the ruling party or coalition.

BNP's boycott questions fairness of elections

While Bangladesh claims a multi-party system, the political landscape has been largely dominated by the Awami League and BNP. Jatiya Party (Ershad) is the third largest party with 27 seats. However, the elections are being boycotted by BNP. Due to this, questions are being raised regarding fairness in elections.

The fairness of Bangladesh's elections has been a recurring issue, with disputes dating back to the previous administration. The introduction of a caretaker government system in 1990 was intended to address these concerns. However, this system was abolished in 2011, leading to allegations of election rigging and opposition suppression. The BNP's boycott since 2014 and its campaign to reinstate the caretaker system highlights the continuing challenges to the electoral process.

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