Bangladesh to vote on Dec 30; 300 seats, 10.4 crore voters, 69 women candidates
Dhaka, Dec 29: Bangladesh will witness election to its 11th parliament or Jatiyo Sangsad on Sunday, December 30, and eyes from across the world will be set on its outcome in the South Asian democracy. The last election held in January 2014 was seen with suspicion as crackdowns preceded it and the Opposition parties had kept away from polling in over 50 per cent of the seats. The scenario this time is also heavily tilted in favour of the ruling Awami League as the main Opposition leader and former prime minister Khaleda Zia is behind the bars since February in relation to a corruption case.
The election was earlier scheduled on December 23 but was postponed by a week later after the Opposition sought more time for preparation.
Though Bangladesh's politics has seen a tendency of becoming a single-party instead of a two-party system as it had been throughout, there is also opinion that Hasina's rule has given the country a form of stability and it should continue for the sake of economic growth.
However, in terms of credibility of the election in the wake of party clashes and violence, the United Nations has sought for a peaceful and inclusive polling. On Thursday, December 27, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for "an environment free of violence, intimidation and coercion" to allow peaceful, credible and inclusive polls." The US has also wished the country a free and fair election.
If Hasina wins tomorrow, she will be in for her third consecutive term after the wins in 2008 and 2014 elections. Bangladesh has made rapid economic progress in her rule but its human rights abuse rates have also reached new lows.
Facts and figures of Bangladesh election, 2018:
- Total number of seats: 300; 151 seats required for majority
- Total voters: 10.41 crore
- Men voters: 5.25 crore
- Women voters: 5.16 crore
- Total candidates: 1,848
- Women candidates: 69
- Total parties: 39
- 2014 election results: Awami League won 234 seats with 72 per cent vote share