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Bangladeshi ruling coalition wins landslide victory in parliamentary polls, reelection ruled out

DHAKA: Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Awami League-led Grand Alliance has won a landslide victory in Sunday’s parliamentary polls, Election Commission Secretary Helaluddin Ahmed said on Monday.

He said the results of some 298 constituencies out of 300 have been announced.

The election in a constituency was withheld Sunday following violence in three centres.

The election for another seat was rescheduled to be held on Jan. 27, 2019 due to the death of one candidate.

According to the Election Commission, the Awami League-led ruling coalition won 288 seats, former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia’s Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP)-led alliance “Jatiya Oikya Front (National Unity Front)” garnered seven seats, while other parties got three seats.

An Election Commission official said the commission will publish the final results of the elections within a day or two in a government gazette before the swearing-in of the newly-elected members of the parliament.

According to the law, any party which wins majority seats in the parliamentary election will be qualified to form a government.

Hasina, who is Bangladesh premier since 2009, is set to serve a record fourth term in office with her Awami League party gaining a stunning majority on its own in the parliament.

Hasina’s ruling party has won 259 out 298 seats followed by its key ally the former President HM Ershad’s Jatiya Party with 20 seats.

In the elections, as always Hasina’s Awami League-led Grand Alliance locked horns with former Prime Minister Zia’s BNP and its allies, which boycotted the 2014 elections.

The BNP, a key ally of the major opposition alliance, which has seen worst results in the elections, alleged that ruling party man resorted to widespread irregularities, including forcing out of their polling agents, stuffing ballots, assaulting and intimidating their supporters.

The Awami League brushed aside the allegations, saying the opposition alliance has been resorting to falsehood while sensing it would not be able to win the elections.

Also at a press conference Monday in Dhaka, Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda ruled out any scope of holding reelection and rejected the allegation of ballot stuffing on the night before Sunday’s elections.

He rather expressed his deep satisfaction over the vote, saying the voter turnout in the polls was 80 per cent.