PM Hasina Wins 5th Term Amid Opposition Boycott, Poll Violence

PM Hasina Wins fifth Time period Amid Opposition Boycott, Ballot Violence

Bangladesh Elections: Sheikh Hasina had gained greater than two-thirds of seats in parliament with practically 90 p.c of outcomes declared, when final updates got here in.

Bangladesh Elections: PM Hasina Wins 5th Term Amid Opposition Boycott, Poll Violence
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina addresses the media after casting her vote for the Common Elections 2024, in Dhaka on Sunday. (ANI Photograph)

Bangladesh Elections: Incumbent Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday secured a fifth time period within the nation’s Common Elections marred by sporadic violence and a boycott by the primary opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Get together (BNP). Hasina, 76, was re-elected to parliament from the Gopalganj-3 constituency after a landslide victory, officers mentioned.

Hasina’s ruling Awami League “has gained greater than 50 p.c seats,” an Election Fee spokesman instructed information company AFP, with counting ongoing.

BNP a ‘terrorist organisation’

The opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Get together (BNP), whose ranks have been decimated by mass arrests, referred to as a basic strike and, together with dozens of others, refused to take part in a “sham election”. The Prime Minister referred to as the BNP a “terrorist organisation” hellbent on destroying democracy within the nation.

“The BNP is a terrorist organisation,” she instructed reporters after casting her vote. “I’m making an attempt my greatest to make sure that democracy ought to proceed on this nation.”

Hasina had referred to as for residents to point out religion within the democratic course of — however election officers mentioned preliminary studies prompt a meagre turnout of some 40 p.c.

Crackdown on opposition, human rights violations

Sheikh Hasina is considered the architect of Bangladesh’s speedy financial development which has progressed at breakneck pace and introduced the nation, which was as soon as beset by grinding poverty, to the brink of financial independence.

Nevertheless, Hasina’s  authorities has been accused of rampant human rights abuses and a ruthless opposition crackdown.

The Awami League, Hasina’s get together,  confronted virtually no efficient rivals within the seats it contested, however prevented fielding candidates in just a few constituencies, an obvious effort to keep away from the legislature being branded a one-party establishment.

A landslide victory

Media collating outcomes from polling stations mentioned Hasina had gained greater than two-thirds of seats in parliament with practically 90 p.c of outcomes declared.

Of the 264 seats of the entire 300 introduced, Hasina’s Awami League had gained 204 and her allied Jatiya Get together 9 extra, in line with outcomes collated by Somoy TV, the nation’s largest non-public information broadcaster.

Among the many victors was Shakib Al Hasan, the Bangladesh cricket workforce captain, who gained his seat for Hasina’s get together be a landslide, native officers mentioned.

Sheikh Hasina bagged 249,965 votes whereas her nearest rival M Nizam Uddin Lashkar from the Bangladesh Supreme Get together secured simply 469 votes, bdnews24 reported.

Gopalganj Deputy Commissioner and Returning Officer Kazi Mahbubul Alam introduced the outcome.

She has gained the Gopalganj-3 seat for the eighth time since 1986.

‘Shame’

First-time voter Amit Bose, 21, mentioned he had forged his poll for his “favorite candidate”, however others mentioned they’d not bothered as a result of the result was assured.

“When one get together is collaborating and one other is just not, why would I’m going to vote?” mentioned rickshaw-puller Mohammad Saidur, 31.

BNP head Tarique Rahman, talking from Britain the place he lives in exile, instructed AFP he feared “pretend votes” can be used to spice up voter turnout.

“What unfolded was not an election, however somewhat a shame to the democratic aspirations of Bangladesh,” he wrote on social media, alleging he had seen “disturbing footage and movies” backing his claims.

‘Concern of ‘additional crackdown’

The BNP and different events staged months of protests final 12 months, demanding Hasina step down forward of the vote. Officers within the port metropolis of Chittagong broke up an opposition protest Sunday, firing shotguns and tear fuel canisters.

However election officers mentioned voting was largely peaceable, with practically 800,000 cops and troopers deployed countrywide.

Meenakshi Ganguly, from Human Rights Watch, mentioned Sunday that the federal government had didn’t reassure opposition supporters that the polls can be truthful, warning that “many concern an additional crackdown”.

Politics on the earth’s eighth-most populous nation was lengthy dominated by the rivalry between Hasina, the daughter of the nation’s founding chief, and two-time premier Khaleda Zia, spouse of a former navy ruler.

Hasina has been the decisive victor since returning to energy in a 2009 landslide, with two subsequent polls accompanied by widespread irregularities and accusations of rigging.

Zia, 78, was convicted of graft in 2018 and is now in ailing well being at a hospital in Dhaka. BNP head Rahman is her son.

‘Harmful mixture’

Sheikh Hasina has accused the BNP of arson and sabotage throughout final 12 months’s protest marketing campaign, which was largely peaceable however noticed a number of folks killed in police confrontations.

The federal government’s safety forces have been dogged by allegations of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances — prices it rejects.

Financial headwinds have left many dissatisfied with Hasina’s authorities, after sharp spikes in meals prices and months of power blackouts in 2022.

Pierre Prakash of the Worldwide Disaster Group mentioned earlier than the vote that Hasina’s authorities was clearly “much less standard than it was just a few years in the past, but Bangladeshis have little actual outlet on the poll field”.

“That could be a probably harmful mixture.”

(With inputs from AFP)



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