Bangladesh. Contested parliamentary elections were held on January 5. The election campaign turned violent. Nearly 150 people were killed in clashes between the security forces and the opposition before and during the elections. Elections are on fire. Protest strikes also occurred.
According to Countryaah.com, Bangladesh population in 2020 is estimated at 164,689,394. Prime Minister Sheik Hasina Wajed was re-elected for the third time. Her party, the Awami League, gained its own majority with 232 seats in parliament, which has 300 seats. (An additional 50 seats are reserved for women and distributed according to party size.) There were no counter-candidates in about half of the 300 constituencies. The reason was that the biggest opposition party Bangladesh’s Nationalist Party (GDP) and its allies boycotted the election. The opposition claimed that the Hasin government violated the practice that the elections would be organized by a transitional government and that the elections were not free.
Neither the EU, the United States nor the British Commonwealth Organization sent election observers.
The Jatiya Party, led by the wife of the former general and the president Hussain Muhammad Ershad, became second largest with 34 seats, while independent candidates took 19 seats. A court had previously banned the Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami from standing.
The turnout was reported to be very low. According to the Election Commission, it was about 40%, but local media indicated just over 20%.
Hasina’s government was sworn in a week after the election, the prime minister also became defense minister. GDP threatened with strikes and other protests since Hasina rejected proposals for early elections or dialogue with the opposition in September.
A special court announced in March that opposition leader Khaleda Zia was being prosecuted for embezzlement. According to the prosecutor, the GDP leader would have embezzled up to $ 700,000 from a charity foundation and an orphanage. The alleged crimes occurred in 2001-06 when Zia was prime minister. She denies the charges. The Supreme Court rejected Zia’s appeal in September, and if convicted, she risks life imprisonment.
The criticized national war crimes tribunal, the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT), continued to investigate crimes committed during the liberation war in 1971. Human rights groups such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International believe the process is not legal. Jamaat-e-Islami accuses ICT of being politicized. Most of the 13 convicted until November belong to the party, which had opposed the current Bangladesh to leave Pakistan.
In September, however, the Supreme Court converted Jamaat politician Delwar Hossain Siayadi’s death sentence from 2013. He was given a life sentence for mass murder and torture during the liberation war. The message triggered rattles. Opponents claimed that the punishment was too lenient, his followers thought the charges were pervasive.
Jamaat’s former leader Ghulam Azam, who in 2013 was sentenced to 90 years in prison, died in October. He turned 91. The news triggered protests.
The tribunal also sentenced Jamaat-e-Islami leader Motiur Rahmand Nizami and another senior party official to death for war crimes. The party announced a 48-hour strike and unrest was reported in the party parties such as the towns of Bogra and Rajshahi.
In November, the Supreme Court upheld the death sentence against the party’s secretary general, Muhammad Kamaruzzaman, who was sentenced in May 2013 for crimes against humanity. The events took place in the border town of Sohagpur during the liberation war. That judgment also triggered rattles.
Nizami and 13 co-accused had been sentenced by another court in January to death for weapons smuggling to separatists in the Indian state of Assam in 2004 when he was minister of industry.
The aftermath continued after the severe industrial accident in April 2013 when over 1,100 people, most of the women factory workers, died when a textile factory collapsed. In July, 18 people were indicted, including the factory owner for illegally converting a shopping center into a textile factory.
A Relief Fund for Victims and Relatives began to operate. In September, the fund, the Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund, had received only half of the set goal of $ 40 million. Over 200 textile mills, mainly smaller ones, had been closed as a result of stricter requirements and reduced demand in several markets. But reporters noted that there were too few inspectors for the more than 4,000 registered factories.
A nationwide power outage occurred on November 1 as a result of a fault in a power line from neighboring India. The cord was put into service at the end of 2013.
In July, Bangladesh was granted approximately 19,000 square kilometers in the Bay of Bengal following a decision by the Permanent Arbitration Court in The Hague. It set the point for a long-standing dispute with India and could accelerate the exploitation of potential gas and oil deposits.