Bangladesh’s opposition alliance demands reelection as PM Hasina heads towards overwhelming victory

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Bangladesh's opposition alliance demands reelection as PM Hasina heads towards overwhelming victory
Bangladeshi polling officials count ballots shortly after voting ended at a polling station in the ancient city of Panam Nagar, about 20 kilometers (12 miles) southeast of Dhaka, Bangladesh, Sunday, Dec. 30, 2018. People in Bangladesh voted Sunday in parliamentary elections seen as a referendum on what critics call Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's increasingly authoritarian rule, amid complaints from both ruling party and opposition activists of attacks on supporters and candidates. Sixteen people were reportedly killed in election-related violence. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)

Dhaka:Hours after parliament polls closed on Sunday, leaving at least 17 people dead, former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia’s Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP)-led major opposition alliance demanded re-election under a non-partisan interim government.

Talking to journalists at a press conference, Jatiya Oikya Front (National Unity Front) leader Kamal Hossain rejected the early election results which showed Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is heading towards overwhelming victory, reports Xinhua news agency.

He alleged that ruling party men resorted to widespread irregularities, including forcing out of their polling agents, stuffing ballots, assaulting and intimidating their supporters.

He said more than 100 opposition candidates have pulled themselves out of election Sunday, complaining of widespread rigging by ruling party men.

Speaking at the press conference, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said the election proves once again that free and fair election is not possible under any partisan government in Bangladesh.

Hasina’s ruling Bangladesh Awami League (AL) party brushed aside the allegations, saying the opposition alliance has been resorting to falsehood while sensing it would not be able to win the election.

AL leader Abdur Rahman said at a press conference here on Sunday that the election was very much participatory.

He said that the number of violence is significantly less than the elections of the past.

Hasina, who is seeking a straight third five-year term in the Muslim-majority South Asian nation of about 165 million people, would need to win at least 151 out of 300 seats to form her government. 


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