Sheikh Hasina gets landslide victory in Bangladesh, opposition demands fresh elections

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has won a fourth term victory in the polls. Hasina’s Awami League and its allies got 288 of the 300 seat parliament, and the main opposition managed to get only six seats.

This will be Hasina’s third consecutive term in office and overall the fourth time she takes charge. In 2014, the opposition Bangladesh National Party (BNP) had boycotted the elections saying it was not free and fair.

The opposition – an alliance led by the BNP – has called the elections as “farcical”, stating that there was massive rigging and violence that led to the death of 17 people. The clashes were primarily between supporters of the Awami League and the BNP. Apart from that, three persons were shot dead by police and an auxiliary police member was killed by armed political party supporters.

Kamal Hossain, head of the opposition alliance has said that they were demanding fresh elections under a neutral government. The opposition has alleged that the ruling party has used various illegal means to fix the result and only a fresh round of polls would reflect what the people of Bangladesh really want. Accusations of rigging, violence and intimidation had poured in from several parts of the country even as huge number of security forces personnel supervised the polling procedure.

There has been criticism against Hasina and her party of being authoritarian, threatening and suppressing the voices of protests. Hasina has rejected such accusations, but voices of dissent do exist, especially from among the young generation who have voiced concern and showed protests especially over the past few months alleging authoritarianism and intimidation.

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