Bangladesh facing election criticism

By January 18, 2024

Bangladesh (MNN) — Bangladesh’s election results from earlier this month are under severe scrutiny. The United States and the United Kingdom have both declared that the election in Bangladesh – resulting in a fourth consecutive term for Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina – was not free and fair.

Bruce Allen with FMI says, “I have a friend who’s a police officer in Bangladesh. His duty that day was to patrol and protect a polling station, and he said that throughout the day, it was virtually empty. He sent me some photos of just police officers who are standing by ballot boxes and things like that waiting for people to come and there’s nobody.

“There’s an election commission app that by 4 pm showed that only 28% of eligible voters had even bothered to vote. Yet, the Chief Election Commissioner had announced the unbelievable statistic of a 40% turnout.”

Village life in Bangladesh (Photo courtesy of FMI)

A letter by EU parliament member Ivan Stefanec called out illegal voting procedures in Bangladesh. He said preceding officials and their subordinates were forced to stuff ballot boxes at their locations and even had underage children and infants stamping ballots as voters.

In the wake of an election with broken confidence in the political system, many Bangladeshis are dissatisfied and hopeless.

Yet, our ultimate hope as Christians is not in political power and influence. Believers in Bangladesh have a deeper joy found only in the promises of Jesus – and seek opportunities to share their faith with others in their Muslim-majority nation.

Allen says, “If we try and use the context of our society – or the Bangladeshis using the context of their society – as conversation points, as kick starters for conversations, we have the great opportunity to point to the hope that is in Jesus Christ.”

Pray for Gospel opportunities, that the people of Bangladesh would know justice and peace in Christ.




Header photo of empty polling station during Bangladesh election 2024. (Photo courtesy of FMI)

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