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Hasina Is Set To Stay In Power In Bangladesh After Opposition Boycotts Election, Saying It’s Unfair

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DHAKA, Bangladesh — The main opposition party boycotted the parliamentary election in Bangladesh, which allowed Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Awami League to win a fourth consecutive term. The counting of votes began on Sunday.

At least 18 arson attacks occurred in the days leading up to the election, but the day itself was generally peaceful. After the votes were counted, Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Habibul Awal said turnout was around 40%.

The opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party and its allies have boycotted the election, which has increased tensions due to security concerns, including the killing of four people in an arson attack on a passenger train on Friday. They accuse Hasina of making Bangladesh a one-party state and of silencing criticism and civil society.

Authorities blamed the BNP for much of the violence, accusing it of attempting to sabotage the election. Detectives detained seven individuals from the BNP and its youth branch on Saturday for their alleged involvement in the train attack. The party denied having any involvement in the incident.

hasina

Hasina Is Set To Stay In Power In Bangladesh After Opposition Boycotts Election, Saying It’s Unfair

Officials stated on Sunday that a supporter of a ruling Awami League candidate was stabbed to death in the Munshiganj area of Dhaka. The police did not respond promptly.

A victory for Hasina, the country’s longest-serving and most influential leader would come with a highly turbulent political landscape. Like previous ones, the election has been defined by the intense competition between Hasina’s Awami League and the BNP, led by former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, who is sick and under house arrest on corruption allegations that her supporters allege are politically motivated.

For many years, the two women alternately controlled the country, creating a hatred that has since split Bangladesh’s politics and sparked violence around elections. This year’s election prompted concerns about its integrity because the incumbent had no strong opponents.

Badshah Mia, a rickshaw puller in Dhaka, said he would not vote because of the restricted options and that the mood did not emanate that of “a fair election.”

A businessman, Sakibul Hasan Chowdhury, felt the same way. “There is no opposition nor a candidate of my choice.” So, how would voting assist me?”

Habibur Rahman, a small business owner, said he was voting for the ruling party’s candidate in his constituency but said there didn’t appear to be a large turnout.

Critics and rights groups say the vote follows a disturbing pattern, in which the previous two elections under Hasina were marred by claims of vote manipulation — which officials denied — and another boycott by opposition parties.

The government has rejected the BNP’s months-long demand for a neutral caretaker administration to oversee Sunday’s poll.

hasina

Hasina Is Set To Stay In Power In Bangladesh After Opposition Boycotts Election, Saying It’s Unfair

The government has defended the poll, claiming that 27 political parties and 404 independent candidates are participating. With dozens of Awami League candidates running as independents and primarily smaller opposition parties in the race, pundits say Hasina’s victory is almost certain.

According to Michael Kugelman, director of the Wilson Center’s South Asia Institute, the candidates could only mount a minor challenge to Hasina’s party. “The outcome is all but guaranteed, and that is that the Awami League will return (to power) again,” he stated. He said, “Bangladesh’s democracy will be in an extremely precarious state once the election is done.”

The vote has also been called into question due to allegations of a widespread crackdown on the BNP. According to the party, almost 20,000 of its members were imprisoned on fabricated accusations before the election. The government contested the findings and denied that arrests were made for political reasons, claiming that the number of people arrested ranged between 2,000 and 3,000. In an interview with the BBC, the country’s law minister stated that 10,000 people were likely arrested.

Former minister and BNP leader Abdul Moyeen Khan said the wave of arrests caused him and dozens of other party members to go into hiding for weeks until candidacy nominations were halted. “It was the only way we could ensure our safety and carry on raising our voice (against the government),” he said.

“We are not boycotting an election — what we are boycotting is a fake and one-sided election that this government is carrying out,” he said.

Hasina is recognized for altering the economy of a young nation born of conflict and making its textile industry one of the most competitive in the world. Her supporters claim that she has prevented military coups and eliminated the menace of Islamic militancy. Internationally, she has helped enhance Bangladesh’s status as a country capable of doing business and maintaining diplomatic ties with countries frequently at odds, such as India and China.

hasina

Hasina Is Set To Stay In Power In Bangladesh After Opposition Boycotts Election, Saying It’s Unfair

However, detractors argue that her ascension risks turning Bangladesh into a one-party state where democracy is under threat, as strengthened government agencies deploy oppressive measures to silence critics, limit press freedoms, and restrict civil society.

Bangladesh is feeling the effects of the global economic slowdown, which has exposed holes in the country’s economy, resulting in labor unrest and displeasure with the administration.

After casting her ballot, Hasina rejected worries about the vote’s legality, telling reporters that she was answerable to the people and that whether they accepted the election was irrelevant.

“I’m trying my best to ensure that democracy should continue in this country,” she said. “Without democracy, you cannot make any development.”

SOURCE – (AP)

Kiara Grace is a staff writer at VORNews, a reputable online publication. Her writing focuses on technology trends, particularly in the realm of consumer electronics and software. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for breaking down complex topics, Kiara delivers insightful analyses that resonate with tech enthusiasts and casual readers alike. Her articles strike a balance between in-depth coverage and accessibility, making them a go-to resource for anyone seeking to stay informed about the latest innovations shaping our digital world.

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Politics

Trudeau Liberals Electoral Chances are as Good as Dead

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Trudeau Liberals Electoral Chances are as Good as Dead

Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party’s popularity has plummeted to record lows  in recent polls. Scandals and his carbon tax weakened Trudeau’s support after years of support. Many election Analysts belive Justin Trudeau and his Liberals will not survive the next election.

The newest Angus Reid survey shows the Conservatives leading nationwide, with Trudeau and his Liberals losing support in most provinces, especially Ontario and Quebec. Analysts say Trudeau’s leadership fatigue, unhappiness over inflation, ridiculous carbon tax, and continual policy flip-flopping are driving voters away.

Trudeau’s carbon tax is unpopular across Canada. Many Canadians hate its higher prices for homes and businesses.

Critics say it unfairly targets energy, threatening jobs and prosperity. Skeptics believe the tax fails to solve global climate challenges despite claims it will reduce emissions.

Provincial governments like Alberta passionately oppose federal intrusion. The carbon tax still divides society.

Steven Guilbeault, Trudeau’s Environment and Climate Change Minister, has lost support from neutral public and provincial governments and the powerful climate action lobby.

Don Braid of the Calgary Herald says Chickens with their heads cut off run around in circles. In politics, the federal Liberals are starting to exhibit this postmortem behaviour.

Braid says their electoral chances are as good as dead, and their head, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, seems only tenuously attached to his party. Still, they dash around crazily, patching this and launching that, all while sticking to their unpopular policies, ministers and leader.

Environment and Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault, the core cabinet fowl who said no new roads should be built in Canada, continues to press his climate extremism.

“The result is political fiasco.”

Alberta and Saskatchewan have always been bitterly opposed to many measures. But Guilbeault is now losing support from the public, provincial governments that once were at least neutral and, crucially, the powerful climate action lobby.

The disasters are self-inflicted. Trudeau and Guilbeault stuck to the carbon tax even after the policy’s disastrous deflation by the “carve out” for home heating oil, a benefit mainly to Atlantic Canada.

Their faux-tough response — nobody else gets that, dammit! — actually cost farmers a break that had been planned, but suddenly looked like another exemption.

The carbon tax, revealed as a purely political tool, is ripe for axing by a potential new leader like Mark Carney. Even New Democrats have argued that the tax should exit, stage left.

Now, Guilbeault has introduced amendments to the Impact Assessment Act, allegedly bringing it into line with the Supreme Court ruling that found the law seriously intrudes on powers rightly belonging to the provinces.

Trudeau’s power grabs shot down

Guilbeault has never acknowledged this was a defeat. He treats the ruling as a simple policy problem rather than a 5-2 thumping by judges not usually known for hostility to federal power grabs.

Alberta was predictably furious about the amendments. Premier Danielle Smith always said Guilbeault would make a gesture and proceed as usual, forcing yet another court challenge.

“When you look at the unconstitutionality of the first draft, you can’t just make tweaks and bring this in line with the Constitution,” says Rebecca Schulz, Alberta’s minister for environment and protected areas.

“That’s really the issue here. Minister Guilbeault still has the ability to involve himself in projects that are within provincial jurisdiction.

“In the end, this piece of legislation remains unconstitutional. We are going to be taking this back to court and I’m confident in our position, because their changes don’t actually address the issues that we’ve raised.”

The trouble is, legal uncertainty causes still more delays in building crucial projects. Ottawa imposed a ban on designating new major projects after the court ruling. It has been in effect for seven months.

Trudeau’s middle ground game not working

The Impact Assessment Agency, the powerful regulatory body that oversees all this, said in a statement: “No decisions to designate projects will be taken. Consideration of any new designation requests will only resume, as appropriate, once amended legislation is in force.”

Most striking is the fury from the climate action lobby toward Guilbeault’s amendments.

“Overall, the bill is a complete federal abdication to address proposed high-carbon projects such as in situ oil mines,” Steven Hazell, a retired environment lawyer and federal regulator told the National Observer, Canada’s best chronicler of climate stories and policy.

Green party Leader Elizabeth May said the government was “erring on the side of stupidity.” May sees the court decision as an opportunity to go further with legislation, not retreat to meet demands of provincial jurisdiction.

She’s the politician who believes the country should be put under virtual martial law to deal with the climate emergency, with all power to Ottawa. And those people are, more or less, the Liberals’ natural allies.That’s where Trudeau and his crew have got themselves as they race around, trying to find a murky middle ground on everything from climate action to taxation and Israel’s war against Hamas (no major religious group in Canada now favours the Liberals, according to a new poll from the Angus Reid Institute).Source: The Calgary Herald

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Election News

South Africa Braces for a Milestone 2024 Election

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South Africa Braces for a Milestone 2024 Election

After 30 years of dominating South Africa politics, the ruling African National Congress will confront its most difficult election this month, with most opinion surveys predicting it will lose its parliamentary majority for the first time.

The ANC’s reputation, once admired under Nelson Mandela’s leadership and regarded as a beacon of hope by the Black majority following the fall of apartheid in 1994, has been tarnished by record levels of unemployment, widespread poverty, the collapse of some government services, and more than a decade of corruption scandals, leaving voters disillusioned.

President Cyril Ramaphosa is hoping for re-election on May 29. However, if the ANC loses its majority, it would be forced to form a government in a coalition, which would be a first for the country and might complicate governing in Africa’s most sophisticated economy.

South Africans do not directly elect their president, but rather vote for parties that are allotted seats in Parliament based on their share of the ballot. Following that, lawmakers select the head of state.

Ramaphosa was a major member in the ANC in the early 1990s, and he was once considered Mandela’s apprentice. He left politics to become a successful businessman before returning to serve as South Africa’s deputy president in 2014. He became president in 2018 when Jacob Zuma resigned amid corruption charges.

Ramaphosa has tried to repair the ANC’s credibility by cracking down on government corruption. However, during his president, unemployment has climbed to 32%, the highest in the world, and he has struggled to reduce poverty.

Electricity Crisis in South Africa

An electricity crisis has caused 62 million power outages across the country as a result of problems at the state-run electricity supplier. It had a negative impact on the economy and Ramaphosa’s reputation as someone who could solve South Africa’s problems, even though the blackouts were caused by mismanagement during the Zuma administration.

The ANC is still projected to win the most votes, but if it obtains less than 50%, it will require coalition partners to reelect Ramaphosa, who is 71 years old.

John Steenhuisen leads the Democratic Alliance, the largest opposition party. The centrist DA has claimed to “rescue” South Africa from the ANC’s corruption and ineptitude, but has yet to win a national election. The DA received 22% of the vote in the last national election in 2019, while the ANC won 62%.

The DA reached a pre-election deal with smaller opposition parties, thinking that their combined vote would secure a majority and depose the ANC. However, they would all need to dramatically expand their share, which is considered implausible.

Economic Freedom Fighters

Steenhuisen, 48, is the sole white leader among South Africa’s major political parties. In a society where race remains at the forefront of national awareness, critics argue that the DA serves the interests of the white minority more than the 80% of South Africans who are Black.

Since its founding in 2013 by Julius Malema, a former ANC youth leader ousted from the ruling party, the Economic Freedom Fighters have risen quickly to become South Africa’s third largest party in Parliament.

His fiery, far-left language has made the 43-year-old South African politician the most divisive, but his argument that the ANC has failed poor, Black South Africans has found momentum, particularly among unemployed and disenfranchised youth.

The EFF has advocated for mine nationalization and land transfer to poor Blacks. The party, which adheres to Marxist doctrine, claims that economic disparity based on race persists decades after apartheid, with whites generally wealthy and Blacks impoverished.

Security concerns for the 2024 election

Malema and other EFF MPs have frequently interrupted opponents’ speeches in Parliament and gotten into scuffles with security personnel, bringing a militant brand of politics to the heart of South Africa’s democracy. The EFF is a potential coalition partner for the ANC, while neither party has stated whether there is an agreement.

Former President Zuma added a fresh dimension when he declared in December that he would leave the ANC he once commanded and return to politics with a new party.

Zuma’s MK Party is unlikely to threaten the top three, but it is expected to severely diminish the ANC vote just as the ruling party confronts its most difficult electoral test. The 81-year-old former leader continues to command support, particularly in his home region of KwaZulu-Natal.

His reemergence has also raised security concerns for the election, as his conviction for contempt of court and subsequent prison sentence in 2021 sparked a week of rioting and looting that resulted in the deaths of over 350 people in South Africa’s worst violence since apartheid’s final days.

Zuma is battling in court over whether his criminal history bans him from running for Parliament. There is concern about unrest if he gets disqualified. Even if he isn’t, his new reputation as an agitator is sure to exacerbate tensions ahead of a key election.

Source: AP

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Election News

Biden Blasted for CNN Interview Saying “Americans Have the Money to Spend”

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President Joe Biden sat down with CNN’s Erin Burnett
President Joe Biden sat down with CNN’s Erin Burnett: Screen Shot

In a rare appearance with CNN, President Biden refused to acknowledge that Americans’ troubles with inflation saying Americans have more money in their pockets thanks to my policies. “They have the money to spend” he told CNN.

According to polls, voters are concerned about Biden’s economic policies. He did admit that inflation, one of the major problems that harmed Biden’s popularity during the first half of his administration, was real.

‘It is true, but the fact is that if you look at what people have, they have enough money to spend,’ he asserted. He blamed the lack of consumer confidence on ‘greedy companies’.

‘It irritates them, as much as me, that you must spend more. For example, consider the whole concept of shrinkflation. It’s around 20% less for the same price; this is corporate greed. It is corporate greed, and we must deal with it.’

Biden’s words sparked outrage on social media, despite the fact that many Americans are still struggling.

One critic remarked on X: ‘Most people don’t have the money because they are honest, unlike pathological liar Joe!’

Another on X stated; ‘He is the most stupid president our country has ever had, and that is how history will remember him.’

‘The man is out of touch with everything,’ said another.

He admitted that inflation was an issue, but opted to blame ‘greedy businesses’ for the public’s lack of trust in the economy.

Biden’s approval Rating Plummeting

In a recent CNN poll, Biden’s approval ratings for the economy (34%) and inflation (29%) were both poor. When it comes to electing a president, voters are most concerned about the economy.

‘The polling data has been inaccurate all along,’ Biden said of the figures, disputing the effectiveness of phone polls.

‘We’ve already turned it around,’ Biden said when asked if he was running out of time to change voters’ perceptions of him with less than six months until Election Day.

‘I guess I’m pleased with the campaign’s progress. And, from what I’ve seen, most people don’t truly focus and make up their minds until the fall. There’s a lot going on,’ he added.

In an interview with CNN done in the battleground state of Wisconsin, Biden stated why he believes the polls are wrong and warned Israel that if it invades Rafah, he will withhold US arms.

Robert Kennedy Jr a Wildcard

Biden’s re-election campaign has highlighted its large fundraising efforts and on-the-ground presence in battleground states. They also point out that Trump is required to appear in New York for the trial.

Meanwhile, Biden is dealing with an uncertain Middle East and progressives who are dissatisfied with his unwavering support for Israel and the treatment of Palestinian refugees.

Then there’s Robert Kennedy Jr.’s independent presidential campaign. Both Trump and Biden’s campaigns are concerned that Kennedy will play a spoiler role, diverting votes away from them.

Trump has stepped up his criticism on RFK Jr., and Biden has announced a dozen Kennedy family endorsements to offset RFK Jr.’s use of the clan’s political legacy.

Biden’s health remains a concern. The president will turn 82 just weeks after Election Day, November 5, and is already the oldest president in American history; Trump is 77.

His approval rating remains at a low 38 percent, according to Gallup polls.

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