December 26, 2018 / 11:16 AM / 6 months ago

Bangladesh election official concerned about poll-related violence

DHAKA (Reuters) - One of five commissioners overseeing Bangladesh’s election said on Wednesday he was concerned about increasing violence four days ahead of the polls.

Mahbub Talukdar’s comments came as several opposition candidates alleged attacks, sweeping arrests and threats by supporters and activists of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s ruling Awami League since campaigning began this month.

“Ensuring all parties take part in the election is not the only issue, the election should also be fair, free and conducted with due legal process,” Talukdar said.

His comments follow concerns he raised last week when he said there was no level-playing field.

The army was deployed this week to oversee the process ahead of polls that both sides have alleged will be rigged by the other.

Hasina is seeking a third straight term in power in the Dec. 30 polls against the National Unity Front, an alliance of smaller parties that banded together in October saying they aimed to “restore democracy”.

Reporting by Serajul Quadir; Writing by Zeba Siddiqui; editing by Nick Macfie

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