DHAKA: The initial trends of the election results which remained marred by violent clashes claiming 18 lives show that Awami League party president and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is all set to be back with a fourth term.
Voting for the 299 of the total 300 seats was held on Sunday between 8 AM and 4 PM. Counting of votes began immediately after the polling ended.
Initial trends indicated a landslide victory for the Awami League and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina returning to power.
Earlier in the day, Hasina had said that she was confident of winning this election.
“We are confident that we will win this election. Opposition parties resorted to violence and we have lost a lot of our party supporters. But, whatever the decision of the people, we will respect it. Whether we win or not, we will always work towards the development of the nation,” Hasina told reporters after casting her vote at Dhaka’s City College.
Hasina’s son, Sajeeb Wazed echoed the words of his mothers and urged young voters to turn up in huge numbers. “We are confident that we are going to win. BNP-Jamaat has resorted to violence and killed our party supporters,” said Wazed.
On the other hand, the Jatiya Oikya Front or the National United Front lead by Dr.Kamal Hossain called the election a ‘farce’ and demanded repolling.
“What we witnessed today was nothing but a farce. We demand for cancellation of elections and repolls under a caretaker government. It’s unfortunate that in the 47th year of independence we are seeing an election like this. It’s even more unfortunate that I’m alive to see this kind of elections,” said Hossain.
Opposition parties cried foul and alleged that the ballot boxes were stuffed overnight and booths were captured by the ruling party cadres.
However, the chief election commissioner, Nurul Huda went on record to call the elections as ‘peaceful’ and ‘fair’.
While the capital city of Dhaka mostly remained peaceful, sporadic cases of violence were reported from other parts of Bangladesh.
As many as 18 people lost their lives, a majority of them were Awami League leaders and supporters.
Two innocent voters were caught in a crossfire and suffered bullet injuries. Hours later, both the civilians succumbed to their injuries.