Bangladesh opposition fares well in polls

Bangladesh Nationalist Party decimated in parliamentary polls two years ago.

Dhaka: The main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), decimated in the parliamentary polls two years ago, has performed well in several civic bodies elections and also snatched back a parliamentary seat.

BNP nominee Sheikh Sujat Mia won the Habiganj-1 parliamentary seat in the northeastern region, in a by-poll caused by the death of an Awami League (AL) veteran. In the last election, Mia had lost the seat with a narrow margin of 1,285 votes.

The AL, however, retained the Brahmanbaria-3 seat in the eastern region.

The defeated candidates in both the constituencies have rejected the poll results, while the winners have lauded the conduct of the elections, The Daily Star said on Friday.

The BNP also bagged six of the 12 civic bodies for which initial results were announced.

The poll campaign was contentious, but the polling across the country was by and large peaceful, media reports said.

The Awami League was plagued by the problem of rebel candidates.

In the polls to 243 municipalities between January 12 and 18, BNP-backed candidates did better than their rivals. In seven divisions, they won 92 of 236 mayoral posts and AL-backed contestants got 88.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, whose alliance had swept the general election with over two-thirds parliamentary majority, completed two years in office last week.

Its failure to hold the prices of essential commodities and power cuts provided fodder to the opposition campaign led by Hasina`s political rival and former prime minister Khaleda Zia.