The High Court ruled on Wednesday, November 28, that former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia was barred from running in the December 30 parliamentary elections, given her current five-year jail sentence on corruption charges. Zia is also the leader of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP). This decision is likely to prompt protests in the country in the run-up to the vote. A heightened security presence and associated transportation disruptions are to be expected in the vicinity of any demonstration; clashes between security forces and protesters cannot be ruled out.
The court’s decision has been viewed by opposition supporters as a means to ensure current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, of the ruling Awami League (AL) party, remains in power.
Individuals present in Bangladesh are advised to avoid all public gatherings and demonstrations due to the risk of violence and adhere to any instructions issued by local authorities.
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