Sheikh Hasina wins ‘controversial’ Bangladesh election


Banglasesh elections

DHAKA: Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina won re-election for a fifth term Monday, officials said, following a boycott led by an opposition party she branded a “terrorist organisation”.

Hasina’s ruling Awami League “has won the election”, an Election Commission spokesman told AFP in the early hours of Monday morning, after a vote that initial reports suggested had a meagre turnout of some 40 percent.

She has presided over breakneck economic growth in a country once beset by grinding poverty, but her government has been accused of rampant human rights abuses and a ruthless opposition crackdown.

Her party faced almost no effective rivals in the seats it contested, but it avoided fielding candidates in a few constituencies, in an apparent effort to avoid the legislature being branded a one-party institution.

Bangladesh registers low voter turnout amidst opposition boycott

The opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), whose ranks have been decimated by mass arrests, called a general strike and, along with dozens of others, refused to participate in a “sham election”.

While the final result and exact figures will be formally announced at a ceremony later on Monday, election commission officials said Hasina’s party had won around three-quarters of seats, at least 220 of the total 300.

But support of other lawmakers including from allied parties could push Hasina’s control over parliament even higher.

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