Inside Story

What’s behind antigovernment protests in Bangladesh?

Opposition supporters demand the prime minister’s resignation and a caretaker government ahead of elections in 2023.

The main opposition party in Bangladesh has held a series of antigovernment protests in recent weeks.

Witnesses say up to 100,000 people turned up to the latest rally called by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) in the capital Dhaka on Saturday.

A poor economy, rising food and fuel prices, and power cuts appear to have galvanised longstanding anger at Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

The protesters want her to resign and make way for a caretaker government ahead of elections due next year.

Hasina from the Awami League has a longstanding rivalry with BNP leader and former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia.

So why are the protests happening now?

Presenter: Laura Kyle


Rumeen Farhana – Former Bangladesh National Party MP.

Tanvir Shakil Joy – Awami League MP.

Ali Riaz – President, American Institute of Bangladesh Studies, Illinois State University.