Awami Win Predicted

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LOOKEAST REPORT |

The ruling Awami League is expected to return to power with majority of parliamentary seats in the upcoming election partly owing to its well–entrenched system of patronage at local level and also because it has overseen a period of solid economic growth, according to London–based Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

■ Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks with his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina during the annual convocation of Visva Bharati University | PTI

The EIU, however, says the risks to its call of an Awami League victory have risen markedly. The Jatiya Oikya Front is led by Dr. Kamal Hossain, a veteran politician and key author of Bangladesh’s first constitution. He is seen as a secular icon who will help to soften the impact of the BNP’s nationalist reputation on the overall image of the alliance.

The government’s hardline response to recent student protests over road safety has reduced Awami League support among younger voters. In addition, recent arrests of opposition leaders may play on voter sympathy in favour of the BNP.

 

Government’s hardline response to recent student protests over road safety has reduced Awami League support among younger voters. In addition, recent arrests of opposition leaders may play on voter sympathy in favour of the BNP

 

Nevertheless, the EIU report adds citing numerous local opinion polls that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina remains the most popular candidate.

“We believe that the country’s impressive record of economic growth and socio–economic development under the Awami League administration, coupled with a lack of an effective opposition election campaign, will be enough to fend off any challenge posed by the BNP or the Jatiya Oikya Front more broadly. It is likely, however, that the BNP’s participation will reduce the AL’s margin of victory to some extent.” ■

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