Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is poised to win a record fourth term in Sunday’s elections, drumming up support by promising a development bonanza as her critics question if the South Asian nation’s tremendous economic success has come at the expense of its already fragile democracy.
Bangladesh’s main opposition alliance on Tuesday demanded the resignation of the chief election commissioner, accusing him of bias, ahead of Sunday’s elections while violence worsens, officials and news reports said.
Thousands of army soldiers are being deployed across Bangladesh to provide security and help conduct national elections next Sunday.
Supporters of Bangladesh’s ruling Awami League party led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina allegedly attacked an opposition leader’s motorcade on Friday as it returned from a function in the nation’s capital ahead of Dec. 30 elections, the latest show of the violence that frequently accompanies polling in the South Asian nation.
Bangladesh’s government has announced that opposition leader and former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia is ineligible to contest Dec. 30 national elections because she has been sentenced to prison in two corruption cases.
Normal life returned to a Rohingya Muslim refugee camp in Bangladesh on Friday a day after government officials postponed plans to begin repatriating residents to Myanmar when no one volunteered to go.
Bangladesh authorities said the repatriation of Rohingya Muslims who fled army-led violence in Myanmar will begin as scheduled Thursday if people are willing to go, despite calls from United Nations officials and human rights groups to hold off.
Bangladesh authorities said they are ready to begin repatriating some of the more than 700,000 Rohingya Muslims who have fled from army-led violence in Myanmar since last year, but refugees scheduled to leave said they would refuse to go because of fears for their safety.
Authorities in Bangladesh agreed Monday to delay national elections by a week because of opposition demands for more time to prepare.
Bangladesh’s Election Commission announced Thursday that the next national election will be held Dec. 23, despite the imprisonment of the leader of the main opposition party and the banning of its chief partner.