Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Secures  Fifth Term Amid Election Boycott and Low Turnout

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Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Secures Fifth Term Amid Election Boycott and Low Turnout

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DAKA: Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has secured her fifth term in office, despite a widespread boycott by the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and low voter turnout. Hasina, who first became prime minister in 1996, faced criticism for refusing opposition demands to resign and allow a neutral authority to oversee the election. The BNP boycotted the polls after their demands were rejected. The election, marred by violence, saw a turnout of around 40%, significantly lower than the 80% in the 2018 election. The ruling Awami League won 167 out of 227 seats, raising concerns about virtual one-party rule and calls for a free and fair election from the United States and Western nations. Rights groups warn of a lack of political diversity and democratic principles in the South Asian country of 170 million people. Critics accuse Hasina of authoritarianism, human rights violations, and economic challenges, as the nation sought a $4.7 billion bailout from the International Monetary Fund last year due to the Russia-Ukraine war’s impact on fuel and food prices.

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