Bangladesh has elected a new president, as reported by Benar News on 13 February 2023.
World Watch Research analyst Thomas Muller remarks: “The sentence above is not totally correct, as the president was not actually ‘elected’ by the parliament, according to the constitutional procedure, but rather ‘acclaimed’. Not surprisingly, he is a close ally of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, but instead of his selection being voted in by parliament, the MPs were simply asked if they trust the PM to pick the right candidate and this was accepted. This procedure shows an increasingly dictatorial mindset and the opposition is being given little room for maneuver as general elections approach, expected to take place in December 2023 (Council on Foreign Relations, 22 December 2022). Indeed, another sign of growing authoritarianism and Dictatorial paranoia in Bangladesh was the shutting down of the country’s largest opposition newspaper, a decision upheld by the Press Council in January (The Guardian, 20 February 2023).”
Thomas Muller adds: “Protests in December 2022 showed that there is still sizeable opposition to the government (CNN, 11 December 2022) and in partial response, the government has been accommodating many of the demands made by Islamic conservative groups, to the detriment of religious minorities such as Christians.”