Tensions mount as Bangladesh gears up for general election

A man walks past a wall with images of Bangladeshi founding father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

(CNN)Bangladeshis vote Sunday on whether to give Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina a record third consecutive term in an election marred by allegations of human rights abuses by her government.

The military has been deployed across the country to try to prevent the violence seen during recent polls, which were tarnished by a low turnout and boycotted by the largest opposition group and its allies.
The Bangladesh Awami League, led by 71-year-old Hasina, has been in power since 2009 and won the last election in January 2014 with a resounding majority amid a boycott. But Hasina has since been accused of authoritarianism and harassment of the media and opposition figures, even as she presides over strong economic growth.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina seen arriving at a Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) at Buckingham Palace on April 19, 2018 in London, England.

Concerns over transparency

    Human rights groups and opposition figures have warned that the December 30 election could be rigged despite promises of transparency from the authorities.
    Salil Tripathi, a London-based journalist and author of "The Colonel Who Would Not Repent: The Bangladesh War and Its Unquiet Legacy," said the government has delayed visas for election observer groups such as the Asian Network for Free Elections (Anfrel) despite its promises of openness.
    "The question is whether there will be observers on the ground in time to see what's going on," Tripathi told CNN. "You want elections that are free and fair, and Bangladesh is miss