TWO MAJOR BANGLADESHI PARTIES UNVEIL ELECTION MANIFESTOS

DHAKA, Bangladesh, Bangladesh's two large rival political parties, rolled out their poll manifestos for the general elections slated for Dec 30, with a set of promises to woo voters.

Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina's ruling Bangladesh Awami League party, in its election manifesto, unveiled at a press conference in Dhaka on Tuesday, promised more efforts for rural developments.

If voted to power for the third time, Hasina pledged to transform Bangladesh into a middleincome country by 2021, and a developed country by 2041.

Reading out her party's 80page manifesto document titled: "Bangladesh on Path to Progress and Prosperity," she said, all the rural villages will be connected to the cities and towns via concrete roads, while electricity will reach every household in the rural areas.

In order to create more employment and make internet and information technology within reach of people everywhere, she said, they will build mills and factories all around the country.

She also expressed her commitment to protecting the country against terrorism, militancy, drugs, communalism and corruption, and maintain democracy and the rule of law, if she retains power.

On the other hand, exPrime Minister, Khaleda Zia's Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), also unveiled its manifesto on Tuesday, with a set of promises, including making democracy its everyday practice and raising GDP growth to 11 percent.

Reading out the manifesto on behalf of Khaleda Zia, who is now behind the bars, BNP Secretary General, Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, assured of taking no revenge against anyone, if her party is voted to power.

The 9page summary document of BNP manifesto promises, include ensuring the balance between the powers of the president and the prime minister.

It said, provisions will be made to prevent a prime minister from serving more than two consecutive terms.

According to the manifesto, foreigners working in Bangladesh will be prevented from laundering money.

Apart from them, the party also vowed to scrap what it said "black laws of this government," in order to ensure freedom of speech and expression.

Awami League, which rose to power with a landslide election victory in early 2009, and won its second term in 2014, is facing challenges from Zia's BNP and its allies.

As many as 1,841 candidates are contesting in the country's upcoming general election for 300 constituencies. According to the commission, out of the total contesting candidates in the 11th national elections, slated for Dec 30, 1,745 are party candidates, while 96 are independent candidates.

Tens of thousands of paramilitary troops were deployed Tuesday, in Bangladesh capital Dhaka and elsewhere in the country, to thwart violence ahead of the general elections.

The country's Election Commission had earlier announced to deploy army personnel from Dec 24, as a striking force across the country

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK