Bangladesh’s bad election choice – AEI – American Enterprise Institute: Freedom, Opportunity, Enterprise29th December 2018
When it comes to Bangladesh’s national elections Sunday, the ruling party and the opposition agree on one thing: the stakes are high.
For Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Awami League, seeking a third consecutive term, the vote is a referendum on peace and progress. For the opposition, it’s the last chance for the world’s eighth-most-populous nation to avert one-party authoritarian rule. “This election is democracy’s last stand,” says Kamal Hossain in an email interview. The 81-year-old lawyer and former Oxford academic heads the five-party opposition alliance, the Jatiya Oikya Front.
Opinion polls in Bangladesh are unreliable, but most informed observers expect Ms. Hasina to win comfortably. In some ways, she has presided over the best decade in the country’s 47-year history. The economy has boomed, security forces have cracked down on Islamist terrorist groups, and ties with India have improved dramatically. By providing refuge to some 750,000 Rohingya Muslims driven out of Myanmar, Bangladesh has carved out an international profile as a responsible and compassionate Muslim-majority nation that helps stabilize a volatile region.
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