Bangladesh Set To Hold General Election On Sunday

Bangladesh Set To Hold General Election On Sunday

Jan. 7, 2024, 8:35 a.m.

People in Bangladesh will vote in a general election on Sunday, amid an opposition boycott and fears of further unrest.

About 2,000 candidates are vying for 350 seats in the country's parliament. Votes are due to be counted as soon as the polling stations close on Sunday.

Supporters of opposition parties allege the votes will be rigged in favor of the ruling party of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. She has been in power for nearly 15 years.

Since last year, opposition supporters have repeatedly clashed with police during anti-government protests. Some members have turned violent, setting buses on fire.

On Friday, four people were killed when a train was set ablaze in an apparent attempt to sabotage the election.

Prime Minister Hasina has responded to the unrest with what some see as high-handed measures, including detaining senior opposition members.

Bangladesh was once known as one of the world's poorest countries. But in recent years it has achieved high economic growth.

Its population of 170 million people is seen as having a huge potential as a growth market. Japanese companies view the country as a promising investment destination.

Still, fears are mounting that Sunday's election could be followed by more political turmoil, and a further decline in public security.

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