Bangladesh, one of the most economically vulnerable nations in the world, will hold a general election on Sunday amid international concern about an upsurge in political violence and allegations of persecution and imprisonment of opponents.
NAME: People's Republic of Bangladesh
LOCATION: Bangladesh is a country in South Asia, northeast of the Indian subcontinent, located in the delta of the Ganges and Jamuna rivers. It borders to the west, north and east with a land border with India, and in the southeast with a short land and water border with Burma (Myanmar).
SURFACE: 147,610 square kilometers.
POPULATION: According to the World Bank data, the population of Bangladesh in 2017 was 164,669,751 people, with a density of 1,265 per square kilometer in terrestrial areas.
GDP per capita: $ 1,752 in 2018, according to the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, one of the lowest in the world.
CAPITAL: Dhaka, with about 18 million inhabitants.
LANGUAGE: Bangla is the official language and almost 98 percent of the country's people speak the language. The indigenous peoples of northern and southeastern Bangladesh speak a variety of native languages.
FORM OF GOVERNMENT: Bangladesh is a People's Republic, which has a parliamentary democracy. Nationalism, socialism, democracy and secularism are the fundamental principles of the Bangladesh Constitution of November 4, 1972, amended on numerous occasions.
The president, elected by Parliament, is the head of state and the executive is held by the prime minister.
The Parliament (Jatiya Sansad) is composed of 350 members.
The judicial system consists of the Supreme Court, the Superior Court and an appeals division.
President: Abdul Hamid (2013).
Prime Minister: Sheikh Hasina (2009), who aspires to be re-elected for a third term.
POLITICAL PARTIES: The two main political groups are the People's League (Awami League), center; and the right-wing National Bangladesh Party (PNB).
RELIGION: Muslims (90%), while the rest is composed of Hindus, Buddhists, and other religious minorities.
ARMED FORCES: 157,000 men (2009).
ECONOMY: The currency is the taka (equivalent to 0.01 dollar). In Bangladesh, one of the poorest countries in the world, a quarter of the population lives on a dollar a day, considered the threshold of extreme poverty.
In the economy, livestock, agriculture and the textile industry predominate.
The country's economy also depends on the remittances it receives from the large diaspora of Bangladeshi emigrants.
It is also one of the countries most vulnerable to weather conditions. Located in a delta, most of its productive land in the south of the country could disappear if the sea level increased by about 65 centimeters, an imminent destination, according to experts.
HISTORY: Bangladesh gained independence from Pakistan in December 1971, after a nine-month-long conflict that caused three million deaths.
The one considered as father of the country, Mujibur Rahman, formed his first Government in 1972, when the first National Assembly was constituted.
Rahman established a climate of violence and, in January 1975, assumed full powers as the new president, making the Awami League a single party. A military coup produced his death in 1975 and imposed Khondakar M. Ahmed as president.
After a period of great instability and successive military regimes, the country held parliamentary elections in February 1991 in which the right-wing National Bangladesh Party (GNP) led by Khaleda Zía, the widow of the general and President Ziaur Rahman, was elected. central to the birth of Bangladesh as a nation after the 1971 war of independence.
In the following two decades, Hasina and Zía alternated in power between constant episodes of political violence that continued until the beginning of 2000, when more than 6,000 people were killed and 40,000 were wounded in different violent acts.
The Zía government ended in October 2006, coinciding with a wave of political violence that led President Iajuddin Ahmed to declare a state of emergency and appoint a provisional executive.
With the coming to power of the Awami League in 2009, with Hasina as prime minister, they ended two years of interim regime under the aegis of the Army.
In January 2014, Bangladesh again held general elections, which were won by the ruling Awami League and were led by violence and the boycott of the opposition that did not participate in the contest.
Hasina was re-elected prime minister almost unopposed.