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    HomeWorldPossible Election Interference: Bangladeshis Linked to Visa Restrictions by the US

    Possible Election Interference: Bangladeshis Linked to Visa Restrictions by the US

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    The United States is warning Bangladeshis that they will restrict visas to anyone who undermines elections. This is ahead of the general elections scheduled for January 2024. Secretary of State Antony Blinken says the United States is supporting “free, fair and peaceful national elections” and will target either pro-government or opposition supporters in the deeply polarized nation. The move could affect current or former officials and politicians and members of law enforcement, the judiciary and security services “believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic election process in Bangladesh.”

    The opposition has already been leading large protests, demanding that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina hand over to a caretaker government and accusing her of irregularities in past votes. However, the United States says this visa restriction should not be interpreted as a US accusation against the government.

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    Bangladesh has generally been seen as a Western ally, with its opposition to radical Islamism and business-friendly policies and has especially close ties with neighboring India. However, the United States under President Joe Biden has also voiced concern on rights, criticizing a law on digital security that has been seen as a way to curb online dissent, and did not invite Bangladesh to its two summits of democracies.

    China has also been seeking influence in the world’s eighth most populous country, investing billions of dollars in infrastructure projects.

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