The BNP has called for a two-day nationwide strike from Saturday, and urged Hasina’s resignation, along with the setting up of a neutral authority to conduct elections.
“The BNP is a terrorist organisation. I am trying my best to ensure that democracy should continue in this country,” Hasina told reporters after casting her vote on Sunday.
The opposition says Hasina’s Awami League has propped “dummy” candidates as independent contesters to make the elections look fair. The main opposition leader, Khaleda Zia, is effectively under house arrest, under corruption charges that she claims are false.
Hasina denies opposition accusations, says rivals fuelled violent demos
Politics in the nation has been polarised by the rivalry between the two powerful women.
Zia’s son, Tarique Rahman, is the acting chairman of the BNP. However, he is in exile in London.
Hasina has denied all these claims and accused the opposition of fuelling anti-government protests that have killed at least 14 since October last year.
Bangladesh has seen sharp spikes in food prices and several blackouts since 2022.
The country’s garment sector, which accounts for 85% of its annual exports, has seen a stagnation in wages. Some garment factories were set on fire last year, and many others shut down.