Bangladeshis vote in general election with PM Sheikh Hasina seeking a third straight term

Dhaka. Bangladeshis vote in a general election on Sunday with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina seeking a third straight term in a face-off against a main opposition party whose leader is in jail on what she says were trumped up charges.

A win for Hasina’s Awami League party is widely expected.

The main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), which boycotted the last election in 2014, has been hobbled this time by the absence of its leader, former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, 74, who was jailed in February on corruption charges her party says were politically motivated.

In addition, opposition workers say they have faced violent attacks and intimidation, including shootings and arrests, that have stunted their ability to campaign.

The ruling party denies responsibility for any such action.

It is brimming with confidence that its economic record will sweep it to election victory.

“The reason people of Bangladesh support the Awami League is very, very simple: development and economic improvement,” Hasina’s son, Sajeeb Wazed, told Reuters in an interview in the prime minister’s official residence on the eve of the vote.

“And not just economic, social as well. The lives of the common Bangladeshi have improved in every, every sector.”

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