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Why Bangladesh’s election signals democracy’s end there

By Gwynne Dyer      

The South Asian country is now effectively a one-party state in which somewhere around half the population hates and fears the ruling party. For now, the fear predominates. But sooner or later the Awami League will stumble and the hate will be expressed in actions.

Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina, pictured speaking to reporters Sept. 21, 2016 at the United Nations in New York, has just won her third straight term in a landslide but disputed victory on Dec. 30. United Nations photograph by Loey Felipe

LONDON, U.K.—It always looks bad when the ruling party jails the opposition leader just a few months before the election. If only Khaleda Zia, the leader of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), had decided to boycott this election like she did the last one, she’d probably still be a free woman. But she decided to run, and so was sentenced to jail time on various implausible corruption charges.

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