Sheikh Hasina wins Bangladesh elections by a landslide in disputed vote

Monday 31st December 2018 04:52 EST
Sheikh Hasina, the new Prime Minister of Bangladesh

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has secured her third consecutive term with a landslide victory, Bangladesh's Election Commission said on Monday.

Her ruling party, Awami League and its allies have won 288 of the 300 parliamentary seats contested, surpassing its previous election wins. The opposition who has merely won seven seats out of a total of 350 seats have condemned the vote as "farcical," marred by violence, intimidation and rigging claims.

"We urge the election commission to void this farcical result immediately," opposition leader Kamal Hossain said.

"We are demanding that a fresh election is held under a neutral government as early as possible."

The Bangladesh Election Commission told Reuters news agency that it had heard vote-rigging allegations from "across the country" and would investigate.

At least 17 people have been killed in clashes between ruling party supporters and the opposition.

Awami League has run Bangladesh since 2009, but one of the leading opposition parties has accused it of using stuffed ballot boxes.

Human Rights Watch South Asia director Meenakshi Ganguly tweeted- "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 election.

Soon before polls opened, a BBC correspondent saw filled ballot boxes at a polling centre in the port city of Chittagong. The presiding officer declined to comment.

Ms Hasina told the BBC on Friday: "On the one hand, they are placing allegations. On the other hand, they are attacking our party workers, leaders. That is the tragedy in this country."

Meanwhile, Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi tweeted - “Spoke to Sheikh Hasina Ji and congratulated her on the resounding victory in the Bangladesh elections. Wished her the very best for the tenure ahead.”

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