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05 Jan 2019 | 04:27 PM UTC

Bangladesh: Cabinet to be sworn in amid heightened tensions January 7 /update 4

Prime Minister to introduce cabinet at ceremony in Dhaka January 7 as opposition rejects election outcome; heightened security presence anticipated

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Event

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is set to introduce a new cabinet on Monday, January 7, following her election victory on December 30. The ceremony, scheduled for 15:50 (local time) in Dhaka, will take place amid heightened tensions in the aftermath of election-related clashes between supporters of rival political parties. 

Related opposition-organized demonstrations are possible in Dhaka and other cities over the next few days. A heightened security presence and localized traffic disruptions are to be expected near protest sites. Clashes between protesters and security forces cannot be ruled out. Telecommunications disruptions (e.g. suspension of mobile phone services) are possible in the event of significant unrest.

Context

Bangladesh held general elections on December 30. The 2018 election pit the ruling Awami League, led by three-term Prime Minister Hasina, against an opposition coalition dominated by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP). The opposition coalition's candidate for prime minister is Kamal Hossain of the Gano Forum political party. The BNP has rejected the outcome and demands new elections.

Political rallies in Bangladesh often result in violence and unrest and can cause widespread transportation and business disruptions. Associated work stoppages, official and unofficial roadblocks, and large crowds are common.

Advice

Individuals in Bangladesh are advised to monitor the situation, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities, refrain from discussing political topics in public, avoid all public demonstrations and polling stations due to the risk of violence and arrest, and anticipate a heightened security presence and disruptions to telecommunications and transportation.

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