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Bangladesh

Monthly Event Reports

January 2024 | Sheikh Hasina secures fourth straight term in general election
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Election flag

On 7 January, Sheikh Hasina secured her fourth consecutive term as prime minister when her party, the Awami League (AL), won 223 of 300 parliamentary seats. Independent candidates, most of them allied to AL won 62 seats, while the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) boycotted the vote. The Chief Election Commissioner reported voter turnout was 40.99 per cent, compared with 80.00 per cent in the last election in 2018. Preliminary results indicate that despite a record high 5.1 per cent of female candidates, only 20 out of 299 contested seats were won by women (a decrease from 22 in 2018), with an additional 50 reserved seats for women to be determined in March. The election was marred by violence and repression of opposition candidates and supporters in the lead-up to and on election day. Voting irregularities were reported across several polling centres, causing voting there to be postponed. Independent election monitors from the Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL) noted that the elections were “neither genuine nor competitive.”  

November 2023 | Systematic crackdown on opposition amid “unfair” election concerns

Several opposition parties, including the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), have formally announced their boycott of the upcoming general election set for 7 January 2024. The parties had earlier refused to submit candidate nominations on the last day of the filing period. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina directed her party members to set up “dummy candidates” in uncontested seats, which some political analysts criticize as a move toward making the election appear inclusive and competitive. Rights experts have questioned the possibility of a free and fair election amid reports of an ongoing "systematic crackdown on opposition members." Human Rights Watch notes that nearly 10,000 activists have been arrested by Bangladesh authorities since 28 October, with key opposition leaders and supporters targeted.

October 2023 | Repression on protests intensified
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Three months ahead of the general election, protests are escalating as rights groups accuse Bangladesh police of using excessive force during political demonstrations on 28 October. Amnesty International describes it as a "complete clampdown on dissent," while the Daily Star reported that the developments have raised “the spectre of violence in the lead-up to national election.” Human Rights Watch reported violent clashes between Awami League and Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) supporters resulted in at least 11 deaths, hundreds injured, and the subsequent arrest of a key BNP opposition leader. The BNP alleged that over 1,500 opposition members were arrested before the rally. Media outlets have said the protest was the biggest rally this year, with tens of thousands of protesters calling for Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's resignation. United Nations authorities have urged the government to show restraint in the lead-up to the January 2024 election.

September 2023 | Government passes Cyber Security Act 2023

On 13 September, parliament approved the Cyber Security Act (CSA) 2023, aimed at preventing cybercrime and the spread of false information. The CSA replaces the controversial Digital Security Act (DSA) 2018. Concerns have been raised by the United States and Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) due to the rapid passage of the bill, which appears to have ignored input from various stakeholders. TIB Executive Director Iftekharuzzaman pointed out that the bill was introduced in parliament on 5 September and passed in just eight days, facilitated by the ruling party's overwhelming majority. Critics argue that while some non-bailable provisions from the DSA have been made bailable and sentences reduced, the bill still contains repressive elements from the DSA. These include vague definitions of offences and provisions for potentially misused arrests. Opposition lawmakers have dubbed it "old wine in a new bottle." Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen encouraged stakeholders to review the act before passing judgment, emphasizing that it has considered all perspectives. The Act has not yet been publicly disclosed.

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GSoD Indices Data 2013-2022

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Basic Information

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Population Tooltip
166 303 490
System of government
Parliamentary system
Head of government
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina (since 2009)
Head of government party
Awami League (AL)
Electoral system for lower or single chamber
First Past the Post
Women in lower or single chamber
20.9%
Women in upper chamber
Not applicable
Last legislative election
2018
Head of state
President Abdul Hamid
Selection process for head of state
Indirect election (assembly)
Latest Universal Periodic Review (UPR) date
14/05/2018
Latest Universal Periodic Review (UPR) percentage of recommendations supported
70.92%
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Human Rights Treaties

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State Party State party
Signatory Signatory
No Action No action
United Nations Human Right Treaties
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
State Party
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
State Party
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
State Party
Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women
State Party
Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment
State Party
Convention on the Rights of the Child
State Party
International Convention on Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families
State Party
International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance 
No Action
International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
State Party
International Labour Organisation Treaties
Forced Labour Convention
State Party
Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention
State Party
Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention
State Party
Equal Remuneration Convention
State Party
Abolition of Forced Labour Convention
State Party
Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention
State Party
Convention concerning Minimum Age for Admission to Employment
State Party
Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention
State Party
in
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Performance by category over the last 6 months

Representation neutral Representation
Oct 2023
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Representation neutral Rights
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Representation neutral Rule of law
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Representation neutral Participation
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Mar 2024

Global State of Democracy Indices

Hover over the trend lines to see the exact data points across the years

Explore the indices
Representation
Representation
0
/1
high 0.7-1.0
mid 0.4-0.7
low 0.0-0.4
Rights
Rights
0
/1
high 0.7-1.0
mid 0.4-0.7
low 0.0-0.4
Rule of Law
Rule of Law
0
/1
high 0.7-1.0
mid 0.4-0.7
low 0.0-0.4
Participation
Participation
0
/1
high 0.7-1.0
mid 0.4-0.7
low 0.0-0.4

Factors of Democratic Performance Over Time

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