Bangladesh’s main opposition party plans mass rally as tensions run high ahead of general election

DHAKA: Bangladesh’s foremost opposition celebration plans to carry a mass rally on Saturday within the capital to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the switch of energy to a non-partisan caretaker authorities to supervise basic elections subsequent 12 months. However the ruling Awami League celebration has warned that any try to set off violence can be met with drive, and stated it will maintain a “peace rally” close to the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Get together’s headquarters, the place supporters of former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, the celebration’s chief, additionally plan to collect.
The opposition says it’s making an attempt a last push to take away Hasina because the Election Commission prepares to announce the nation’s twelfth nationwide election, anticipated to be held in January.
Tensions are excessive in Bangladesh, a parliamentary democracy with a historical past of violence throughout political protests, particularly earlier than elections. The rivalry between Hasina and Zia has been ongoing for many years, and Hasina’s authorities has been underneath stress for months because the opposition has held largely peaceable anti-government demonstrations. However specialists say violence may escape anytime.
Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, secretary basic of Zia’s celebration, stated it will proceed to push for the resignation of Hasina’s administration and the set up of a caretaker authorities.
“We do not belief this authorities. They have to go first to carry a free and truthful election. In any other case they might rig the election,” he stated in a latest interview with The Related Press.
Hasina hopes to return to energy for a fourth consecutive time period and says the election must be held underneath her authorities’s supervision as specified within the structure.
Forward of Saturday’s rally, Obaidul Quader, the Awami League celebration’s basic secretary, stated its members can be on the streets, and pledged to retaliate if there are any assaults by opposition supporters.
“The reply of violence isn’t silence. The reply of violence is violence,” Quader instructed reporters on Thursday. “If our peace rally is attacked, our activists is not going to sit idle.”
Amid worries over whether or not the polls can be free and truthful, a diplomatic row can also be brewing between Hasina’s authorities and the USA.
The US State Division stated in September it’s “taking steps to impose visa restrictions on Bangladeshi people accountable for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic election course of in Bangladesh.” These embrace members of regulation enforcement, the ruling celebration and the opposition.
The Biden administration has made the push free of charge and truthful elections in Bangladesh “a chief focus of its democracy promotion coverage overseas,” stated Michael Kugelman, director of the South Asia Institute on the Wilson Heart.
The imposition of visa restrictions adopted earlier measures together with restrictions on the nation’s elite anti-crime drive. Rights teams and the US say the drive is accountable for many enforced disappearances of presidency critics and opposition activists. The restrictions have resulted in a lower within the variety of deaths in so-called “cross-fire” incidents in latest months, media stories stated.
Rights teams and the US additionally criticized the federal government for enacting a controversial cyber safety regulation, saying it’s designed to silence critics and the opposition, an allegation authorities deny. Critics have additionally slammed the latest jailing and subsequent launch on bail of two Bangladeshi rights activists.
Hasina lately instructed parliament that the US needs to take away her from energy at any price. However the opposition and critics have welcomed the transfer by the US, which is the biggest importer of Bangladesh’s garment merchandise.
Reactions to the US transfer in Bangladesh have damaged down alongside partisan traces, Kugelman stated. Hasina’s administration slammed it as “meddling” whereas many critics welcomed it, saying they hope it’s going to push again towards what they view as Hasina’s rising authoritarianism.
Latest elections in Bangladesh, particularly the final one in 2018, have been broadly believed by the West to be flawed. The Awami League celebration does not have a very good monitor document of overseeing free and truthful elections since Hasina returned to energy in 2008.
Kugelman stated the federal government and opposition “are on a collision course” and that “there is a good likelihood we may see an election with no opposition participation.”

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button