Bangladesh: Sheikh Hasina’s alliance wins, opposition demands fresh poll

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In Bangladesh general election, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s alliance won for the fourth consecutive time in country’s history. Hasina’s Awami League party won 287 seats out of 298, the election commission said on Monday.

The main opposition party, Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), who had boycotted 2014 poll, got defeated by Hasina’s alliance with only six seats under.

According to news reports, later on Monday, Hasina will have a meeting with poll observers and foreign journalists at her official residence.

Opposition leader Kamal Hossain said his party and its alliance, the National Unity Front, had called Bangladesh’s election commission to order a fresh vote “as soon as possible” under the neutral administration and alleged that Sunday’s poll was a fraud and was flawed.

According to reports, around 17 people were killed as poll took place, said police.

At his residence, Hossain said, “The whole election was completely manipulated. It should be canceled.” Candidates said they have witnessed ballot-stuffing and vote-rigging by the ruling party workers and activists, Hossain said.

Opposition leader claimed, “We’ve had bad elections in the past but I must say that it is unprecedented how bad this particular election was. The minimum requirements of free and fair election are absent.”

Hossain said he was set to hold a meeting with opposition alliance on Monday, to decide what would be their next step.

Sajeeb Wazed, Hasina’s son, called the opposition party “sore losers making false allegations”.

In a tweet, south Asia director of human rights watch Meenakshi Ganguly wrote: “With serious allegations of voter intimidation, restrictions on opposition polling agents and several candidates seeking a re-poll, there are concerns about the credibility of the Bangladesh elections.”

Hasina’s alliance activists were accused of attacking the opposition’s workers. Though, Hasina denied all accusations and said her party workers has said they were attacked by opposition. Police said, five BNP workers and seven ruling party workers were killed, and around 20 people were injured on election day.

This was the very first time where BNP campaigned with its leader Khaleda Zia, as she has been jailed since February over the corruption charges.

The election commission said it would hold a fresh vote for one seat, which was disturbed due to violence.


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