Islamic parties in Bangladesh aim to forge electoral alliance

Bangladesh’s Islamic parties are working on forging an alliance to back the re-election of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. (Reuters)
Updated 08 November 2018
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Islamic parties in Bangladesh aim to forge electoral alliance

  • Awami League’s Obaidul Kader: The Islamic parties committed to extend full cooperation so that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina could come back to power
  • Jahangirnagar University’s Dr. Dilara Chowdhury: Islamic sentiment now plays a very significant role in Bangladeshi politics, even influencing mainstream secular parties

DHAKA: Islamic political parties in Bangladesh are working to forge an alliance to support the prime minister in the upcoming general election.

Twelve parties held a meeting on Tuesday with a 14-party alliance led by the ruling Awami League.

The Islamic parties “committed to extend full cooperation so that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina could come back to power,” said Obaidul Kader, general secretary of the Awami League. But each party expressed its own opinions and demands, he added.

Mufti Sakhwat Hossain, organizing secretary of Islami Oikya Jote (IOJ), one of the country’s largest Islamic parties, told Arab News: “We’re trying to form an alliance with like-minded parties, but we won’t compromise our political views and principles.”

Sultan Mohiuddin, publicity secretary of Bangladesh Khelafot Andolon (BKA), another prominent Islamic party, told Arab News that the voter base of such parties will be split if efforts to form an electoral alliance fail.

Dr. Dilara Chowdhury, a renowned political scientist and professor at Jahangirnagar University, said “Islamic sentiment” now plays a very significant role in Bangladeshi politics, even influencing mainstream secular parties.

“Since the mainstream political parties to some extent have failed to fulfill the aspirations of the people, there is increasing support for Islamic parties,” she said, adding that the propagation of secularism has created a “backlash” in society.


Trump drops new North Korea sanctions because he ‘likes’ Kim

In this file photo taken on February 27, 2019 US President Donald Trump (L) speaks with North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un during a meeting at the Sofitel Legend Metropole hotel in Hanoi. (AFP)
Updated 59 min 5 sec ago
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Trump drops new North Korea sanctions because he ‘likes’ Kim

  • “President Trump likes Chairman Kim and he doesn’t think these sanctions will be necessary,” the president’s spokeswoman, Sarah Sanders, said

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump on Friday abruptly announced the cancelation of sanctions imposed by his own Treasury Department to tighten international pressure on North Korea.
“It was announced today by the US Treasury that additional large scale Sanctions would be added to those already existing Sanctions on North Korea. I have today ordered the withdrawal of those additional Sanctions!” Trump said in a tweet.
He appeared to be referring to measures unveiled Thursday that targeted two Chinese companies accused of helping North Korea to evade tight international sanctions meant to pressure Pyongyang into ending its nuclear weapons program.
But The Washington Post reported, citing Trump administration officials, that the president’s tweet referenced future sanctions that had not been announced and were scheduled for “the coming days.”
The Thursday sanctions were the first new sign of pressure since talks between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un broke down in Hanoi less than a month ago.
However, Trump, who has previously spoken of “love” for the totalitarian leader, appears to retain hope that his strong personal relationship will bear fruit.
“President Trump likes Chairman Kim and he doesn’t think these sanctions will be necessary,” the president’s spokeswoman, Sarah Sanders, said.
Adam Schiff, a Democrat who heads the intelligence committee in the House of Representatives, blasted Trump for canceling sanctions “imposed only yesterday and championed by his own national security adviser, because he ‘loves’ Kim.”
“Foolish naivete is dangerous enough. Gross incompetence and disarray in the White House make it even worse,” Schiff tweeted.
On Thursday, Trump national security adviser John Bolton had tweeted that the sanctions were meant to put an end to “illicit shipping practices” by North Korea.
“Everyone should take notice and review their own activities to ensure they are not involved in North Korea’s sanctions evasion,” he said.
China complained, saying that it did enforce all UN resolutions and opposed “any country imposing unilateral sanctions and taking long-arm jurisdiction against any Chinese entity according to their own domestic laws.”
This was Trump’s second major, unexpected foreign policy announcement by Twitter in two days.
On Thursday, he sent a tweet reversing decades of US policy and pledged to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the hotly contested Golan Heights border area with Syria.