Stage set for Bangladesh General Elections 2018; Here is all you need to know

This will be the eleventh National Parliamentary Election of the country. The tenth elections were held in the month of January in the year 2014, which saw Sheikh Hasina’s party Awami League rocketing to an easy victory.

Bangladesh General Elections 2018: Here is all you need to know about it
Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina (Photo: AP/File)
By: ABP News Bureau
Updated: 26 Dec 2018 05:04 PM
New Delhi: The neighbouring country Bangladesh is scheduled to hold its general elections at the edge of the year on December 30 to elect members of its parliament ‘Jatiya Sangsad’.

This will be the 11th National Parliamentary Election of the country. The 10th elections were held in the month of January 2014, which saw Sheikh Hasina’s party Awami League rocketing to an easy victory.

Bangladeshi Parliament: The Jatiya Sangsad (JS) or the House of the Nation is the supreme law-making body of the country which has 350 seats. It consists of 300 elected by first-past-the-post voting in single-member constituencies and 50 seats reserved for women which are apportioned on elected party position in the parliament. Election to the House is held every five years unless the parliament is dissolved before completion of term.

Parties in fray:  Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina led Bangladesh Awami League may face anti-incumbency factors, while the former ruling party Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), which boycotted the 2014 polls is looking ahead to reenter the parliamentary fray after five years of absence. As per the Bangladeshi media, BNP will be contesting the election as part of an alliance of about 20 parties, known as the Jatiya Oiyka Front, which however, will not be led by any BNP member but by a senior lawyer and an active politician Kamal Hossain.

The BNP is in disarray as its chairperson and ex-premier Khaleda Zia is serving a five-year prison term in two graft charges and is ineligible to contest elections , while her son and acting BNP chief Tarique Rahman is staying in London apparently to evade a life term imprisonment.

Questions on Election Commission: The main opposition alliance has demanded the resignation of the chief election commissioner, questioning his neutrality, days ahead of elections on Wednesday. They have alleged that the behaviour of CEC Nurul Huda was "inappropriate" and he was not taking their views into consideration during the talks.

2018 campaign violence: At least six people have been killed and several hundred injured in election-related violence since December 10. Both opposition and the ruling Awami League blame each other for the attacks. The media reports suggest that most attacks were carried out by the ruling party activists who were often backed by the police.

2014 Elections: The last parliamentary elections which took place in January 2014, were boycotted by the main opposition alliance, led by former Prime Minister Zia's Bangladesh Nationalist Party. As a Hasina’s’ League won a walkover, retaining a safe parliamentary majority, winning 234 seats.

Prime Minister Hasina and Zia have been political foes since the introduction of democracy in 1991.