News

    Election Campaigning Concludes in Bangladesh

    Multimedia

    Audio

    Campaigning has ended in Bangladesh ahead of Monday's national election. The army-backed interim government lifted the state of emergency to allow a two-week campaign period. At the forefront are two rival former prime ministers. They have concluded their campaigns with blistering attacks on the other.

    The two women who took turns governing Bangladesh during a chaotic 15-year period concluded their respective campaigns with warnings of dire consequences should their rival return to power.

    Addressing a huge rally in the capital, Dhaka, former prime minister Khaleda Zia said, as a mother, she urges the people to vote for her Bangladesh Nationalist Party.

    Zia promised the crowd, estimated at 100,000 people, a prosperous future for the impoverished nation. She also mentioned her rival, Sheik Hasina, accusing her Awami League of systematically pushing the country into chaos and ruin during its tenure.

    Hasina finished her campaign with a rally in the port city of Chittagong, promising a digital revolution for Bangladesh by the year 2021.

    A day earlier, at her own massive rally in Dhaka, Hasina expressed disdain for Zia's time in office.  

    Hasina says her opponent uses the slogan "save the country, save the people." But her corrupt legacy was one of "kill the people, grab the money."

    Security has been tight for the candidates amid concerns they have been targeted for assassination.

    There have been some physical attacks on local candidates, and police have seized some explosives and arrested some alleged terrorists plotting to disrupt the election.  But overall, the level of reported violence has been lower than past campaigns.

    The two women, known as the "Battling Begums" were freed from custody to contest the election. They had been arrested on graft charges as part of the caretaker government's bid to rid Bangladesh of its legacy of political corruption.

    A third party leader, currently allied with the Awami League, former military dictator Hussain Muhammed Ershad, saw his motorcade attacked Saturday in the northern part of the country. Ershad, leader of the Jatiya Party, could hold the balance of power if neither of the top two parties wins a clear majority of parliamentary seats. Ershad, ironically, was ousted from power when Hasina and Zia joined to lead a popular revolt in 1990.

    International monitors on the ground here say, so far, the process for this election seems credible. Officials of the interim government are expressing confidence violence will not seriously disrupt balloting by the 81 million eligible voters.  

     

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora