The Latest on parliamentary elections in Bangladesh (all times local):
News reports in Bangladesh say there have been deadly clashes related to the country’s general election.
Local media including the country’s leading Bengali-language daily, Prothom Alo, say up to 10 people were killed in clashes between rival partisans and police in six districts across the country as voting took place Sunday. Police officials did not immediately return calls seeking comment.
Meanwhile, The Associated Press received more than 50 calls from people across the country who identified themselves as opposition supporters complaining of intimidation and threats, and being forced to vote in front of ruling party men inside polling booths. The AP could not independently verify the complaints.
The election is seen as a referendum on what critics call Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s increasingly authoritarian tendencies.
Voting has started in Bangladesh’s contentious parliamentary elections.
The polls Sunday in the South Asian nation are seen as a referendum on what critics call 71-year-old Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s increasingly authoritarian tendencies.
Hasina’s main rival is former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, who’s in prison for corruption.
In Zia’s absence, the opposition is led by Kamal Hossain, an 82-year-old Oxford-educated lawyer and former member of Hasina’s Awami League party.
The election campaign has been marred by allegations from the opposition of arrests and jailing of thousands of Hasina opponents.
While rights groups have sounded the alarms about the erosion of Bangladesh’s democracy, Hasina has promoted a different narrative, highlighting an ambitious economic agenda that has propelled Bangladesh past larger neighbors Pakistan and India by some development measures.