Bangladesh holds general election on Sunday

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Bangladesh holds general election on Sunday

There is an election in Bangladesh on Sunday, and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to win a fourth term in a row and a fifth overall for her Awami League-led alliance. This is despite the fact that Bangladesh’s economy needed a foreign bailout last year.

Here are some important facts about the election in the South Asian country with more than 170 million people:

*The biggest opposition party, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, led by the sick former prime minister Khaleda Zia, will not be voting because Hasina refused to step down and let a caretaker government run the election.

*On the night before the election, there was a fire on a passenger train that was called arson and killed at least four people. Several voting booths across the country were also set on fire.

*There are about 120 million qualified voters, and about 15 million are first-time voters. Almost half of them are women.

*There are nearly 2,000 candidates for the 300 directly elected parliament places, and 5.1% of them are women, which is a record high.

*There are 436 independent candidates, which is the most since 2001. The Awami League denies that it put up “dummy” candidates to make the election look real, but the BNP says that’s what they did.

*Hasina is praised for turning around Bangladesh’s $416-billion economy and huge clothing industry. She is also praised for taking in nearly a million Rohingya Muslims who were fleeing oppression in neighbouring Myanmar.

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