Awami League sweeps polls

Awami League sweeps polls

The ruling Awami League on Sunday swept the general election in Bangladesh, which was marred by deadly clashes, a low turnout and a boycott by opposition parties, even as 21 people were killed in poll violence.

Most voters preferred to stay at home fearing violence during polling in 147 out of 300 constituencies in 59 districts. Candidates in other constituencies would be declared elected unopposed due to the boycott, said officials.
 
According to media reports, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Awami League won 95 seats out of the 147 up for elections. The Jatiya Party (JP) secured 12 seats while 13 seats went to smaller parties or independent candidates. Hasina won from the Gopalganj and Rangpur constituencies.

The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), led by former prime minister Khaleda Zia, boycotted the polls after her arch-rival Hasina rejected the opposition’s demand for a neutral caretaker regime to oversee the elections.

Violence flared across the country despite thousands of security personnel deployed to maintain law and order. Police said 17 people, mostly opposition cadres, were killed on Sunday after the deaths of an election officer and two other persons since Saturday night.

A total of 390 candidates, mostly from the Awami League and its ally Jatiya Party, contested from 147 seats where the number of voters was nearly 44 million.  Protesters hurled crude bombs at polling centres and stole ballot papers during the “one-sided” contest boycotted by the opposition.

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