Polls open in Bangladesh’s parliamentary elections
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 sound 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.