Bangladesh’s deadly election campaign entered a final full day on Thursday (Dec 27) with followers of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina parading in the streets while her opponents insisted the vote would not be free and fair.
Both sides launched new salvos in their war of words ahead of Sunday’s polling, Channel News Asia reported.
Hasina accused the opposition of organising bomb attacks while the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) said “the state” was aiding an assault on the opposition.
Flag-waving supporters of the ruling Awami League marched in Dhaka and other cities ahead of the official close of campaigning early Friday.
The BNP, whose leader is in jail, said it had been prevented from holding its closing rally.
At least six people – four from the BNP and two from the Awami League – have been killed since the campaign started on Nov 8.
The BNP and its Islamist ally Jamaat-e-Islami say more than 11,500 of their followers have been arrested and thousand of activists, including candidates, injured in attacks by ruling party followers.
Amid international concern over events, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres appealed for calm.
Guterres “calls on all stakeholders to ensure an environment free of violence, intimidation and coercion before, during and after the elections, so as to enable a peaceful, credible and inclusive poll,” said a spokesman.