Bangladesh strengthens military presence for parliamentary elections

The ruling party fears a boycott by the opposition in Sunday’s election (January 7); Current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is seeking re-election

Bangladeshi soldiers were sent to the country’s streets this Wednesday (January 3, 2024), 4 days before the general election scheduled for Sunday (January 7), due to the possibility of a boycott by the election’s main opposition party. The information is from Reuters.

The armed forces will be mobilized across the country no later than January 10 to “ensure peace and order before, during and after the election.”the Bangladesh Army said in a statement released on Wednesday (Jan 3).

The soldiers were deployed in 62 districts of Bangladesh and were to act only if called upon by election officials, as announced by the armed forces.

The Asian country of nearly 170 million people goes to the polls on Sunday (7 January) after a series of protests led by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party in recent months. The demonstrations called for Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to resign, and elections were held under a neutral interim government.

Since taking office in 2009, Hasina, who is president of the Awami Party, has faced accusations of human rights abuses and suppression of freedom of expression. If re-elected on Sunday (January 7), the current leader will begin his 4th term.

His main opponent, Khaleda Zia, former prime minister and leader of the opposition, is under house arrest. The party claims that the corruption charges against it are “manufactured”.

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