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Bangladesh Polls: PM Hasina set to win record fourth term; Opposition alliance rejects polls, demands fresh vote

Hasina is aiming for a record fourth term as prime minister with her Awami League opening up a big lead in early results following a tense vote.  

India TV News Desk India TV News Desk
Dhaka Published on: December 30, 2018 22:20 IST
Sheikh Hasina

Sheikh Hasina

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was Sunday elected virtually unopposed from the Gopalganj-3 constituency as she won by a landslide, bagging 229,539 votes while her main BNP opponent could manage just 123.

The Election Commission officially announced Hasina's win in the evening.

Hasina is aiming for a record fourth term as prime minister with her Awami League opening up a big lead in early results following a tense vote.

She did not face much competition from her rivals as Bangladesh Nationalist Party's S M Jilani secured only 123 votes, Islami Andolan Bangladesh candidate Maruf Sheikh got 71, while rest of the candidates received a mere 14 votes.

Also Read | Bangladesh general election: 17 killed, over 64 injured in poll-related violence

According to the EC, a total of 229,747 votes were cast. 

Facing imminent defeat, Bangladesh's opposition NUF alliance, with jailed ex-premier Khaleda Zia's BNP as its key partner, on Sunday rejected the outcome of the general election and demanded fresh polls under a neutral caretaker government.

The National Unity Front (NUF) is a coalition of parties including the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), Gono Forum, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal-JSD, Nagorik Oikya and Krishak Sramik Janata League.

"We reject the results and demand a new election under a neutral government," NUF convenor Kamal Hossain, who heads the Gono Forum party, told a media conference.

His comments came after early trends and results suggested a landslide victory for Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's ruling Awami League-led Grand Alliance.

"We ask that you cancel this election right away," Hossain urged the election commission claiming "we have reports that fraudulence took place in almost all centres".

BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, who steered the party in Zia's absence and won from his northeastern constituency, described the polls as a "cruel farce".

"This has caused long-term damage to the country...the nation has incurred huge damage," he said.

A total of 47 opposition candidates boycotted Sunday's polls as voting was underway but Alamgir said they had stayed out due to personal reasons.

At least 17 people killed in poll-related violence amid allegations of manipulation by the ruling Awami League led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

According to the Election Commission, 1,848 candidates are contesting for 299 out of 300 Parliament seats. The polls are being held at 40,183 polling stations. Voting was suspended in one seat due to the death of a candidate.

While Hasina is seeking re-election for a fourth term as the prime minister, her chief rival, ex-premier and Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chief Khalida Zia, who is reportedly partially paralysed, faces an uncertain future in a Dhaka jail.

The voting started at 8 AM (local time) and ended at 4 PM.

"The eight-hour long voting has ended as per schedule...preparedness are underway to start the counting," an Election Commission (EC) spokesman said.

(With inputs from PTI)

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