Bangladesh opposition begins 48-hour nationwide strike ahead of polls

Eurasia News

DHAKA: The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP)-led opposition parties on Saturday began enforcing a 48-hour nationwide strike in Bangladesh on the eve of parliamentary elections, a move which is considered to be a final bid to torpedo the polls, Dispatch News Desk reported.

Meanwhile, at least two persons were killed and 45 polling centers were set on fire in renewed violence which hit Bangladesh ahead of Sunday’s general elections.

On Friday, the BNP leader Khaleda Zia, who has been under house arrest since last week with dozens of riot police being stationed outside her house in Dhaka,  urged the voters to completely boycott the January 5 elections, and said that no one at home and abroad would call these elections as credible.

The BNP along with 20 other opposition parties have said that they will boycott the polls over the government’s refusal to allow a neutral body to oversee it, citing fears that the government led by Awami League’s Sheikh Hasina would manipulate the results of the elections.

But the government insisted it would go ahead with the polls despite a boycott by opposition parties and major foreign nations announcing they will not send any election observers.