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Economic Issues Overshadow Bangladesh's Fraught Elections

MIN READDec 28, 2018 | 10:00 GMT

Supporters of Bangladesh's Awami League march during a general election campaign procession in the capital of Dhaka on Dec. 10, 2018.

Supporters of Bangladesh's Awami League march during a general election campaign procession in capital of Dhaka on Dec. 10, 2018. The Awami League and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party are implacable foes, but both will have to focus on the economy if they win election on Dec. 30.

(MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Bangladesh will cap off a year of eventful elections in South Asia with parliamentary polls on Dec. 30. The center-left Awami League, which has spent the past decade in power under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, is seeking to win another five-year term at the head of a 12-party alliance. Arrayed against it is the center-right Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), the country's main -- if sidelined -- opposition outfit, which is leading the Jatiya Oikya Front, an 18-member alliance. At stake are 300 of the 350 seats in the Jatiya Sangsad, the country's unicameral parliament (the remaining 50 seats are reserved for women and appointed on a proportional basis). But irrespective of the outcome, the economic goals of whoever assumes power in the capital of Dhaka will be largely the same: focus on job creation and infrastructure development, and accelerate efforts to industrialize....

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