The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP)-led opposition coalition rejected unofficial general election results claiming that the ruling Awami League, led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, had won the vote on Sunday, December 30, calling for new elections amid allegations of vote-rigging and voter intimidation. According to local sources, at least 16 people were killed in election-related violence in 13 districts on Sunday; political opposition figures have also claimed that thousands of political dissidents were arrested and jailed during the campaign season.
Related opposition-organized demonstrations are possible in Dhaka and other cities over the coming hours and days. A heightened security presence and localized traffic disruptions are to be expected near protest sites. Clashes between protesters and security forces cannot be ruled out. Telecommunications disruptions (e.g. suspension of 3G and 4G services as enforced on Sunday during the elections) are possible in the event of significant unrest.
Bangladesh held general elections on December 30. The 2018 election 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.
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 a heightened security presence and disruptions to telecommunications and transportation.
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