Bangladesh high court bans Islamist party
Jamaat Islami prevented from standing in general election on grounds it opposes secularism
Locals try to extinguish a fire after Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami activists set fire to a cotton store near Kamalapur railway station in Dhaka yesterday. Photograph: Reuters/Andrew Biraj
The largest Islamist party in Bangladesh has been banned from taking part in the forthcoming general election on the grounds that it is against secularism.
Jamaat Islami (JI) is a key member of an alliance of opposition parties that will seek to oust the ruling Awami League at the polls later this year.
Although popular support for the party is limited, its supporters can swing the result in scores of constituencies.
The ruling by the high court in Dhaka will raise tensions in the volatile country, where rival protests and strikes have intensified in recent months.
– (Guardian service)