Ex-PM rejects landslide poll resultOn 03/30/2019 by admin
Bangladesh\’s ex-Prime Minister Khaleda Zia has rejected the results of the country\’s general election, which gave her arch rival a landslide victory.
Fellow former premier Sheikh Hasina Wajed\’s Awami League won a two-thirds majority in the poll held on Monday – the first in Bangladesh since 2001.
But Zia, of the opposition Bangladeshi Nationalist Party, insisted the results were not valid, alleging widespread vote-rigging had taken place.
“I thank the chief election commissioner for implementing a stage-managed election,” she told private television station NTV.
“This election is not acceptable to the BNP. It also won\’t be acceptable to the people.”
Her reaction has threatened to throw Bangladesh into further political turmoil, after two years of emergency rule by a military-backed caretaker regime.
Record voter turnout
The BNP won just 29 of the possible 300 seats in Monday\’s vote, while left-leaning rival the
Awami League picked up 230 seats.
The election attracted a record voter turnout of 85 per cent, with that figure reaching 90 per cent in rural areas, the Election Commission said.
Some 200,000 observers were present in Bangladesh on election day, including 2,500 from the EU, the Commonwealth and other foreign independent groups.
Both the Election Commission and international observers have said the poll was largely free and fair.
Sheikh Hasina is expected to be sworn in as prime minister before January 7.
Sheikh Hasina and Zia, known as the battling begums, have ruled Bangladesh alternately from 1991 until the interim government was installed two years ago.
Their bitter personal rivalry has been blamed for paralysing political life in the country.