Politics, Asia - Pacific

Bangladesh opposition not to contest next general elections

Party leaders meet EU diplomats, express their reservations on elections being held under 'partisan' government

SM Najmus Sakib  | 12.03.2023 - Update : 12.03.2023
Bangladesh opposition not to contest next general elections

DHAKA, Bangladesh

Bangladesh's main opposition party will not participate in the next general elections slated for January 2024, party officials told EU diplomats in a meeting.

Demanding a neutral non-partisan caretaker government to be formed before the parliamentary elections, the Bangladesh National Party (BNP) alleged that the incumbent government had lost its credibility to hold a free and fair election by manipulating the last elections.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury, a senior BNP leader, said the ambassadors of France, Italy, Sweden, Germany, Spain, Norway and the Netherlands, led by EU Ambassador to Bangladesh Charles Whiteley, were present at the meeting.

“Of course, the BNP will not go to the elections under this government - we have told them (EU diplomats) openly and clearly," Chowdhury said.

BNP alleged that the country’s electoral system has been broken badly.

Bangladesh has been governed in turns by the BNP and the ruling Awami League since its independence from Pakistan in 1971.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been accused of crushing the opposition with an iron fist and jailing BNP leader Khaleda Zia over an array of corruption charges, which Zia says are trumped up.

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