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Bangladesh deploys troops to maintain order in general elections

Bangladesh deploys troops to maintain order in general elections

Bangladesh deploys troops to maintain order in general elections

Bangladesh deploys troops to maintain order in general elections

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  • The armed forces have been deployed nationwide from 3 to 10 January 2024.
  • Bangladeshis head to the polls to choose 300 MPs
  • The army deployed troops in 62 districts across the country
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In preparation for the January 7 parliamentary election, Bangladeshi troops took to the country’s streets on Wednesday to maintain order. The main opposition party plans to boycott the elections.

Over 170 million people in Bangladesh will cast their votes this coming Sunday.

In recent months, a series of anti-government protests called for Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s resignation. Despite the government rejecting these demands, the ruling Awami League is widely anticipated to secure its fourth consecutive parliamentary term.

“The armed forces have been deployed nationwide from 3 to 10 January 2024 to ensure peace and order before polling, on polling day, and after polling,” the Bangladesh Army said in a statement ahead of the deployment.

The army deployed troops in 62 districts across the country, with officers from the paramilitary Border Guard Bangladesh covering nearly 100 sub-districts, and some of them conducting joint duties with the military.

Many helicopters have also been set aside to “provide electoral assistance in case of emergency,” the Army said.

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“The upcoming 12th National Parliament election is going to be held on 7 January 2024 … the armed forces have taken all-out preparations to provide any necessary assistance to maintain peace and order,” the statement said.

As Bangladeshis head to the polls to choose 300 MPs, Prime Minister Hasina, the daughter of Bangladesh’s founding father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the longest-serving leader in the country’s history, strategically located as a link between South Asia and the rest of the Indo-Pacific, appears set to secure her fourth consecutive and fifth overall term in office.

Her government insists that the upcoming election is inclusive and fair. However, the main rival, the BNP, is boycotting the polls, asserting that the incumbent administration cannot ensure a fair vote.

President Mohammed Shahabuddin, also an Awami League member, is calling on Bangladeshis to cast their vote on Sunday.

“Let’s vote ourselves and encourage others to cast their vote,” Shahabuddin told reporters on Wednesday.

“Voting is a democratic right of the people. As citizens, we have to vote.”

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