Campaigning has ended in Bangladesh ahead of Monday's parliamentary elections.
The front-runners in the race rallied their supporters and promised to
improve the lot of ordinary Bangladeshis, as they held their final
campaign events on Saturday.
Bangladesh National Party leader Khaleda Zia spoke to a crowd of
100-thousand in the capital, Dhaka, promising a prosperous future for
the impoverished nation. Meanwhile, her chief rival, Awami League
leader Sheikh Hasina, told supporters in Chittagong that she would
usher in a "digital revolution" for Bangladesh. She has promised to
modernize the country through technology.
An estimated 600-thousand law enforcement officers and soldiers are
being deployed to keep the peace, after the government lifted a state
of emergency that was in effect during the nearly two years of military
The actual balloting will be scrutinized by 200-thousand local monitors and two thousand foreign observers.
The military intervened in January of 2007 to stop months of violence
between supporters of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party and the Awami
Leaders of both parties have been jailed on corruption charges.
One accounting found that about 150 candidates are either facing murder
or corruption charges. But Bangladeshi officials say criminal suspects
are free to contest the election until their appeals to the Supreme
Court are exhausted.
Our stringers Matiur Rahman Chowdhury, and Zahurul Alam has more on the election campaign. Besides there is also a two way with Iqbal Bahar Chowdhury , the Chief of VOA Bangla Service now in Dhaka, on latest situation ahead of the parliamentary election.