Winning over 260 seats in the 300-member House, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina-led Awami League swept the Bangladesh general election on Sunday that was marred by protests that saw at least 17 people being killed and Opposition demanding fresh elections. According to reports, Awami League bagged 266 seats, while its ally Jatiya Party secured 21. The Opposition National Unity Fund (NUF) could only manage 7 seats with Independents claiming 2 seats.
NUF convenor and lawyer Kamal Hossain termed the elections as “farcical” and urged the Election Commission to “cancel the election right away”. Hossain claimed to have reports of fraudulence at most of the voting centres.
After the results, while incumbent Sheikh Hasina is eying 3rd term as PM, her main rival Khaleda Zia faces uncertainty after being sentenced to 5-year rigorous imprisonment in a corruption case.
Zia, chairperson of the country’s main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), and five others were accused of embezzlement of funds meant for the Zia Orphanage Trust.
As for the voting, it started at 8:00 AM on Sunday and ended at 4:00 PM, with the EC receiving over a hundred complaints from candidates throughout the country.
The NUF accused Awami party of using stuffed ballot boxes and other illegal means to turn the tide in Hasina’s favour. However, the EC has declared Awami Party as the winner, with the NUF demanding fresh elections in 90 days.