AL to return to power with majority on Dec 30 polls: EIU

Publish: 2:44 PM, December 12, 2018 | Update: 2:44:PM, December 12, 2018

DHAKA  – The ruling Awami League (AL) will return to power with majority of parliamentary seats in the next election slated for December 30 as it has overseen solid economic growth, said London-based Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) in a report on December 4.

“The Economist Intelligence Unit expects the Awami League, led by Sheikh Hasina, to win a third term in parliament in the elections at end-2018,” said EIU, a research and analysis division of The Economist Group, the sister company to The Economist newspaper.

The report said that the country’s impressive record of economic growth and socio-economic development under the Awami League administration, coupled with a lack of an effective opposition election campaign, will be enough to
fend off any challenge posed by the BNP or the Jatiya Oikya Front more broadly.

It also forecasted that the country’s economic growth would remain robust and real GDP will grow by an average of 7.7 percent per year in 2018/19- 2022/23, bolstered by strong increases in private consumption and gross fixed
investment.

The report also specifically mentioned the reputation of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as being the key factor in election. It stated that Sheikh Hasina remains the most popular candidate, according to numerous local
opinion polls.

A win for Awami League will be important in sustaining foreign investment and will also support the administration’s drive to expand and deepen private sector participation in the economy, it said, adding that following such a win, Bangladesh is expected to continue to utilize its strategically important location on the Bay of Bengal to extract concessions and economic assistance from India, China and Japan.

But Bangladesh’s relations with Myanmar will remain tense in the medium term owing to the Rohingya refugee crisis which will remain severe, at least in the early part of the forecast period, the report added.