Monday, 30th October 2017

E- paper

Sheikh Hasina-led alliance wins 288 of 300 seats in Bangladesh

Opposition Jatiya Oikya Front, which secured seven seats, called the results a farce

By PTI in Dhaka
  • Published 31.12.18, 3:00 PM
  • Updated 31.12.18, 3:00 PM
  • a min read
  •  
Sheikh Hasina speaks to the media after voting in Dhaka on December 30. AP

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's alliance won 288 seats in the 300-member Parliament on Monday, but the main Opposition rejected the thumping majority, calling the elections "farcical".

The result was declared by Election Commission (EC) secretary Helaluddin Ahmed. The Opposition Jatiya Oikya Front has secured seven seats, he said, adding that others have won three seats.

Voting was postponed in one constituency and the result not declared for another because of the death of a candidate, Ahmed said.

The Opposition front urged the EC to immediately scrap the "farcical election" and hold a fresh one under a non-partisan interim government.

Jatiya Oikya Front chief, veteran lawyer Kamal Hossain, said: "We have reports that fraudulence took place in almost all centres. You (the EC) must cancel this election rightaway. We reject the so-called results and demand a new election under a neutral government." 

Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, who steered the party in the absence of imprisoned former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, said the elections had proved that free and fair polls were not possible under a partisan government.

The BNP's decision to stay away from the general election five years ago was not wrong, he said.

The Jatiya Oikya Front is a coalition of Opposition parties such as the BNP, Gono Forum, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal-JSD, Nagorik Oikya and Krishak Sramik Janata League.

With the overwhelming majority in the 11th general elections, Hasina is set to become Prime Minister for the third consecutive time and fourth time overall.

While Hasina was seeking re-election for the fourth term as the prime minister, her arch-rival Zia, who is reportedly partially paralysed, faces an uncertain future in a Dhaka jail where she is lodged after her conviction in corruption cases.

At least 18 people, including a member of a security agency, have been killed and more than 200 were injured in poll-related violence, making it one of the deadliest polls in the country, the Daily Star reported.