INTRODUCTION: A crowd of more than 300,000 people attended an opposition party rally in Bangladesh on Thursday (12 November).
DACCA, BANGLADESH (VISNEWS - ATIQUL ALAM)
GV Crowds in streets (2 shots)
GV TILT DOWN Massed crowd for election rally
SV Awami League candidate speaks to crowd
GV PAN Crowd scene
SV Election posters (2 shots)
GV PAN Crowd applauding (2 shots)
SV Abdus Sattar addressing National Party supporters
GV PAN Cheering crowd
SV Sattar speaking
GV PAN Crowd applauds
Background: INTRODUCTION: A crowd of more than 300,000 people attended an opposition party rally in Bangladesh on Thursday (12 November). The rally in the capital, Dacca, was organised by the Awami League party to mark the end of their long campaign for Sunday's (15 November) presidential election. There was also a huge turn out for a similar event held by the Bangladesh National Party, favourites to win the presidential poll.
SYNOPSIS: Bangladesh won its independence through civil war from Pakistan in 1971. There have been three leaders since then. Two have been assassinated. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman died during a military coup in 1975 and President Ziaur Rahman was killed in an army mutiny last May.
Awami League candidate Kamal Hossain told his supporters there were 18 attempted coups during President Ziaur's rule. He promised that on winning the election he would wield greater control and discipline over the military.
Mr. Hossain has been campaigning hard and believes he can win if the elections are fair. But already he has hinted at technical polling infringements by National Party administrators.
National Party candidate and acting President Abdus Sattar, now 75, has campaigned on the issue of keeping the current style of government rather than revert to a one-party state system.
When the winner is known, one problem apart from internal and international politics will remain. Bangladesh, a country of rivers and waterways, has one of the world's biggest populations per square kilometre. Its people are not self-sufficient in food and rely heavily on foreign aid. The new government will also have to do something about poor economic progress.
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