Saturday 19th January 2019

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  • Bangladesh votes in general election; PM Hasina expected to hold power

    Bangladesh-votes-in-general-election;-PM-Hasina-expected-to-hold-powerBangladeshis have begun voting in a general election in which Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is seeking a third straight term in a face-off against her main opponents whose leader is in jail on what she says are trumped-up charges.

    A win for Hasina’s Awami League party is widely expected.

    Bangladesh-votes-in-general-election;-PM-Hasina-expected-to-hold-power1

    The main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), which boycotted the last election in 2014, has been hobbled this time by the absence of its leader, former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, 74, who was jailed in February on corruption charges her party says are politically motivated.

    In addition, opposition workers say they have faced violent attacks and intimidation, including shootings and arrests, that have stunted their ability to campaign. The ruling party denies that it behind any intimidatory attacks.

    Bangladesh-votes-in-general-election;-PM-Hasina-expected-to-hold-power2

     

    Bangladesh’s garment industry is the world’s second biggest after China’s. If Hasina retains power, one of her first jobs will be to address the demands of garment workers for a higher minimum wage. 

    Hasina has been lauded internationally for providing refuge to Rohingya Muslims fleeing persecution in neighboring Myanmar.

    The vote count will begin on Sunday evening and news channels are expected to call the result early on Monday.

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