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Is Bangladesh moving towards a regime like North Korea?

Is Bangladesh moving towards a regime like North Korea?
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Polling and results of the 12th National Election in Bangladesh have already been completed. On January 7, polling took place across the country from 8 am to 4 pm. There were more or less rigging and irregularities around this polling in different parts of the country. Voter presence in some centers but overall this election could not attract voters. The main reason for this is the non-participation of the main opposition parties in the polls. Sheikh Hasina and her party have completed the one-sided election by keeping more than 20 thousand leaders and activists of the main opposition BNP in jail.

In this election of 7th January, the most rigged image was seen in the Dhaka-1 constituency. Where there were a total of 7 candidates, there was a glimpse of intense competition between the ALeague vs Japa. However, after the counting of votes, Prime Minister’s Advisor on Private Industries and Investments Salman F Rahman won the seat by a huge margin in the boat symbol.
Also, children’s voting has given rise to discussion in this election. A picture circulating on social media shows a 6-7-year-old girl voting at the center. Besides, it was seen that no vote was counted in some centers. Again in one center, it was found that the presiding officer had put his signature on the result sheet before taking and counting the votes.

Meanwhile, the Jatiya Party (JAPA) could not benefit from seat allocation in agreement with the Awami League in non-BNP-Jamaat elections. Japa candidates won only 11 of the 26 seats shared with Awami League. In the rest of the seats, they lost to independent candidates of the Awami League.


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Is Bangladesh moving towards a regime like North Korea?

However, the chief election commissioner’s accounting has given rise to the most discussion. He first told the media that 28 percent of the votes were cast. Later, the secretary corrected him and said, Sir, it will be 40 percent. Later, the Chief Election Commissioner again said that about 40 percent of votes have been cast. There may be some increase or decrease after the counting of votes is over. However, he told the media at 3:00 p.m., just an hour before the end of voting, that about 27 percent of the votes had been cast so far. Many people are questioning how about 13 percent of votes were cast in this last hour after low voter turnout throughout the day.

Considering everything, there is no hesitation to say that Bangladesh has passed this twelfth national election in North Korean style. Where more than 20,000 leaders and activists of the main opposition party are in jail, it is now a matter to be seen how many foreign countries will accept this election.

Writer:
Abdul Wahid Talim
Freelance Journalist & Member of Amnesty UK

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Dulal Ahmed Chowdhury is the Editor of The Daily Dazzling Dawn. Previously, he has been serving in important positions in all the famous national dailies of the Bangladesh since the nineties. He has played a commendable role in journalism by participating in various events at the national and international levels. United Nations Conference, World Climate Conference, SAARC Summit are notable among them.

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