Bangladesh ruling party wins elections marred by boycott, violence

Was Bangladesh election legitimate?
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Story highlights

  • Awami League wins 105 seats; counting unopposed seats, it holds 232 of 300 seats
  • At least three people killed Monday in post-election violence in Dohar
  • Elections were boycotted by the largest opposition group and its allies; turnout was low
  • Many seats were won without opposition, because of the boycott

The Bangladesh Awami League, led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, won Sunday's parliamentary elections, which were marred by low turnout and violence and were boycotted by the largest opposition group and its allies.

At least three people were killed in post-election violence Monday between supporters of two rival candidates in Dohar, on the outskirts of the capital, Dhaka, Dhaka district police Superintendent Habibur Rahman told CNN. In the Dohar district, Awami League candidate Abdul Mannan, a former land minister, was routed by Jatiya Party candidate Salma Islam.

At least 18 people were killed over the weekend as opposition activists clashed with police as they tried to foil the elections. More than 150 voting centers were burned.

According to the Election Commission, elections were held in only 147 districts Sunday. The candidates from 153 other districts were elected unopposed, as there were no opponents because of the boycott.

On Sunday, the Awami League won 105 seats, while the Jatiya Party, led by former President Hussain Muhammad Ershad, won 13 seats, according to the Election Commission's unofficial results.

Violence marks Bangladesh elections
Violence marks Bangladesh elections

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Bangladesh votes amid violence, opposition boycott

Independent candidates won 13 seats, and other small parties won eight seats.

The Election Commission will hold new voting in eight districts where it suspended elections because of violence Sunday.

Including the results from unopposed elections, the Awami League has won 232 seats so far, and the Jatiya Party has won 33 seats.

The Bangladesh Nationalist Party, led by former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, and its allies boycotted elections and announced it would try to prevent voting with general strikes and road blockades.

The party on Sunday urged the government to cancel the election results and announce schedules for new elections under a neutral caretaker government.

Zia said she would not participate in elections unless they took place under a neutral caretaker government, but Hasina rejected the demand.