Bangladesh to hold general elections on 7 January 2024 amid security concerns. All you need to know | Mint
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Business News/ News / World/  Bangladesh to hold general elections on 7 January 2024 amid security concerns. All you need to know
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Bangladesh to hold general elections on 7 January 2024 amid security concerns. All you need to know

Armed forces have been deployed from January 3 to 10 by the government to assist with administration during the elections, which are being boycotted by the opposition party BNP

Bangladesh elections are scheduled to take place tomorrow. An official walks past ballot boxes, stored at a school before being distributed to the voting centres. (REUTERS)Premium
Bangladesh elections are scheduled to take place tomorrow. An official walks past ballot boxes, stored at a school before being distributed to the voting centres. (REUTERS)

Bangladesh's general elections are scheduled to be held on 7 January 2024. Bangladeshi authorities have made stringent security given the general elections as tensions grew ahead of the polls.

The government has deployed Armed forces from January 3 until January 10 to assist in the administration as tensions spiked in the country. Opposition party BNP wishes to boycott elections these elections as the ruling government did not give in to their demand which has led to violence outbreaks at several places . The current Awami League government is scheduled to expire on 29 January 2024 after serving 5 years in office.

Also read: Bangladesh election 2024: 4 killed after train set on fire ahead of Sheikh Hasina vs Khaleda Zia clash

A statement of the Inter-Service Public Relations, the media wing of the military said, “Members of the armed forces will be stationed at nodal points and other places in every district, sub-district, and metropolitan area," reported PTI. Members of the Coast Guard, Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), and Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) will also be on election duty to oversee security arrangements.

Also read: Bangladesh pre-poll violence: 5 dead as Benapole Express train catches fire, several Indians believed to be on board

Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) will take command of security arrangements in 45 bordering upazilas while the Bangladesh Navy will operate in 19 districts, including Bhola and Barguna. The ISPR informed that the BGB and Army will work in 47 bordering upazilas and coordinate with the Coast Guard in four coastal upazilas.

Also read: Opposition on the run as Bangladesh preps for elections, more than 10,000 arrested

Polling centres in the Hill Tracts will be under the guard of the Bangladesh Air Force with helicopter support. The Armed Forces Division will be active until January 10 and has formed a combined cell. This cell includes law enforcers and representatives from different ministries.

The main opposition party, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) led by former prime minister Khalida Zia is boycotting the elections. BNP demanded an interim non-party neutral government to organise the voting which was rejected by the government headed by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Sheikh Hasina is the president of the ruling Awami League and is facing pressure from Western countries to hold "free and fair" elections.

Also read: Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus faces jail in Bangladesh Court ruling

The director of the South Asia Institute at the Washington-based Wilson Center, Michael Kugelman said, “The US applied so much pressure on Bangladesh for free and fair elections, through both carrots and sticks, and for so long, yet to no avail," reported Bloomberg. He added, “Consequently, there is a possibility that the administration could respond post-election with harsher steps."

Also read: ‘India-Bangladesh relations are reaching new heights’, says PM Modi

Kugelman said that those measures could be “punitive actions in the space that would hurt Bangladesh the most," which is trade as the US is the top buyer of Bangladeshi garments

The 350 seats of the Parliament of Bangladesh ‘Jatiya Sangsad,’ consists of 300 directly elected seats. The representatives to these seats are selected using first-past-the-post voting in single-member constituencies. Moreover, 50 seats are reserved for women while the reserved seats are elected proportionally by the elected members.

11 general elections have been held in Bangladesh to elect members of the national parliament since achieving independence in 1971.

(With agency inputs)

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Published: 06 Jan 2024, 10:52 AM IST
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