Bangladesh: Sheikh Hasina wins by landslide, opposition rejects polls

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s ruling party won the general election with a landslide majority, the Election Commission said early on Monday while the opposition rejected the polls and claimed the votes as rigged.

An alliance dominated by Hasina’s Awami League won 288 seats in the 300-seat parliament. The opposition alliance led by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) won just six seats.

“My congratulations to the Awami League,” Helal Uddin Ahmed, secretary of the Election Commission Secretariat, told media.

Sheikh Hasina’s party was widely anticipated to win the election that was hit by violence and rigging allegations. 

At least 17 people were reportedly killed in violence between rival supporters. 

Hasina, who is set to take office for the third consecutive time and fourth time overall, is credited with improving the country’s economy and promoting development, but she has also been accused of a crackdown on media and dissent. 

Opposition leader Kamal Hossain said their alliance rejected the election as “farcical” and had called on the Election Commission to order a fresh vote under a neutral administration “as soon as possible”, alleging Sunday’s poll was flawed.

“We are demanding that a fresh election is held under a neutral government as early as possible,” Kamal Hossain told reporters.