Updated January 8th, 2024 at 14:45 IST
Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina re-elected to Parliament amid Opposition boycott
The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), Hasina secured a win from the Gopalganj-3 constituency for the eighth time since 1986.
Bangladesh: Bangladesh Prime Minister and Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina clinched her re-election to parliament from the Gopalganj-3 constituency on Sunday. Despite facing challenges such as sporadic violence and a boycott by the primary opposition party, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), Hasina secured the seat for the eighth time since 1986.
The general elections witnessed a decisive win for the ruling Awami League, with their candidates leading in most seats, as indicated by preliminary results. The electoral process, however, encountered hurdles, including instances of violence and the absence of the BNP, raising concerns about the overall fairness of the elections.
Despite the largely peaceful voting, officials and the mainstream media reported at least 18 arson attacks across the country since late Friday, with 10 of them targeting polling places.
Former premier Khaleda Zia-led Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) leaders said the party plans to intensify its anti-government movement through a peaceful public engagement programme from Tuesday as it dubbed the polls as "fake." The BNP boycotted the 2014 election but joined the one in 2018. This time, they boycotted the polls. Fifteen other political parties also boycotted the election.
The party leaders claimed that the low turnout was evidence that their boycott movement had been successful. They said that peaceful democratic protest programmes will be accelerated, and the people's right to vote will be established through this programme.
The BNP is observing a 48-hour nationwide general strike which began at 6 am on Saturday and will end at 6 am on Monday. It had called upon voters to shun the election to mark the beginning of an end of what it calls a "fascist government." Earlier, an election commission spokesman said that other than some sporadic incidents of violence, the voting was largely peaceful in 299 of the 300 constituencies. The Commission suspended polling in one seat because of the death of a candidate.
The election commission cancelled the candidature of a ruling Awami League candidate in northeastern Chattogram at the fag-end of the voting hours as he “scolded and threatened” a police officer.
The usual election-day fervour was nowhere to be seen. Even in front of the election campaign booths, there was no presence of voters except the ruling party-backed supporters and election agents.
Voters cast their votes without any disruption in the absence of long queues, leaving presiding officers with idle time.
(With inputs from PTI)
Published January 7th, 2024 at 21:54 IST