News Alerts

29 Dec 2018 | 08:02 PM UTC

Bangladesh: Heightened security measures in place for December 30 election /update 2

Bangladesh News Alert

Authorities deploy 600,000 personnel to provide security at polling stations for December 30 election; mobile internet services suspended and 24-hour vehicle ban in Dhaka in effect

TIMEFRAME expected from 12/29/2018, 12:00 AM until 1/1/2019, 11:59 PM (Asia/Dhaka). COUNTRY/REGION Bangladesh

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Event

The Bangladeshi government deployed 600,000 security personnel and suspended some mobile internet services on Saturday, December 29, ahead of national elections on Sunday, December 30. The majority of the security personnel, which includes members of the Rapid Action Battalion, the military, border guard, and auxiliary police units, will be deployed to Dhaka though a heightened security presence is expected nationwide. Additionally, Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission announced that 3G and 4G services would be suspended until 23:59 (local time) on Sunday. Other security measures include a 24-hour ban on vehicles in Dhaka on Sunday. Violence at polling stations cannot be ruled out and protests and demonstrations are possible following the election, particularly surrounding any announcement of results.

Context

Bangladesh will hold general elections on December 30. The 2018 election will largely pit the ruling Awami League, led by three-term Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, against an opposition coalition dominated by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP). The opposition coalition's candidate for prime minister is Kamal Hossain of the Gano Forum political party.

Political rallies in Bangladesh often result in violence and unrest and can cause widespread transportation and business disruptions. Associated work stoppages, official and unofficial roadblocks, and large crowds are common.

Advice

Individuals in Bangladesh are advised to monitor the situation, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities, refrain from discussing political topics in public, avoid all public demonstrations and polling stations due to the risk of violence and arrest, and anticipate heightened security presence and disruptions to telecommunications and transportation.

 

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