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Bangladeshi Election Commission to meet with President Shahabuddin


Bangladeshi Election Commission to meet with President Shahabuddin

Bangladesh elections

Bangladesh’s Election Commission will meet with President Mohammed Shahabuddin today in the capital of Dhaka.

As is customary in Bangladesh, representatives from the Election Commission (EC) discuss the general election schedule with the president before formally announcing their decision. It is expected that the EC will announce next week that the upcoming election will be held between January 6 and 9. Bangladesh’s presidency, however, is largely ceremonial, with the country’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her ruling Awami League (AL) party having led the country since 2009.

The EC’s election preparations, however, have been heavily scrutinized by opposition parties. Over a third of the nation’s registered parties, led by the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), boycotted election discussions held by the EC this past weekend. They claim the EC has done little to ensure the elections held under the AL government will be fair and have argued for the election date to be pushed back.

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The BNP, facing arrests of its leadership and activists, will probably boycott the January election unless PM Hasina resigns, which is very unlikely. Thus, expect the AL to maintain its parliamentary majority in a January election marred by irregularities and controversy. Under continued AL rule, Bangladesh will likely carry on balancing its relations with the US and China while further consolidating its authoritarian grip on the state.

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