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Bangladesh ruling party wins poll hit by violence, boycott

Discussion in 'South Asia & SAARC' started by Marqueur, Jan 6, 2014.

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  1. Marqueur

    Marqueur Peaceful Silence ELITE MEMBER

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    [​IMG]
    A polling officer pours ballot papers from a box onto a table to count during parliamentary elections in Dhaka January 5, 2014.
    Credit: Reuters/Andrew Biraj


    (Reuters) - Bangladesh's ruling Awami League won a violence-plagued parliamentary election whose outcome was never in doubt after a boycott by the main opposition party.

    With fewer than half of the 300 seats being contested, voters in modest numbers cast ballots on Sunday amid heavy security in polling that lacked the festivity typical of Bangladeshi elections and was shunned by international observers as flawed.

    Low voter participation could pile new pressure on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to find a compromise with the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) for holding new elections.

    Either Hasina or BNP chief Begum Khaleda Zia has been prime minister for all but two of the past 22 years. The two are bitter rivals.

    The Awami League won 105 of the contested seats, on top of the 127 seats where it ran unopposed, giving it a more-than two-thirds majority. Hasina is expected to form a new government this month.

    "The immediate fallout of this dismal voter turnout will be the Hasina government coming under greater pressure to hold talks with the opposition," said Hossain Zillur Rahman, an economist and adviser to a former "caretaker" government tasked with overseeing an election.

    "It is the ultimate sign of protest by Bangladeshi people and tells us that they are unhappy with the way elections have been held in this country."

    The impasse between the two main parties, which showed no sign of easing, undermined the poll's legitimacy and is fuelling worries of economic stagnation and further violence in the impoverished South Asian nation of 160 million.

    "This is a suicidal election as it will not bring any peace in the country," Abul Kashem, who works as a driver and is a supporter of the BNP, said outside a Dhaka polling station.

    The country's $22 billion garment industry, which accounts for 80 percent of exports, has been disrupted by transportation blockades ahead of the election. BNP officials said party supporters would maintain the blockade and called another in a series of general strikes starting Monday morning.

    Eighteen people were killed in separate incidents on election day, according to media reports, and voting was halted at about 400 polling stations. More than 100 people were killed in the run-up to the ballot, mostly in rural areas, and fears of violence kept many voters away.

    Police said they had been forced to fire on opposition activists in six incidents.

    Apart from a handful of crude bomb explosions, Dhaka was calm. In Satkania, near the port city of Chittagong, a poll official's arms were broken and police were attacked.

    FUTURE ELECTION?

    Hasina has spoken of holding talks with the opposition on the conduct of future elections which, if successful, could lead to another poll. The BNP had demanded a halt to the current electoral process.

    Turnout figures were not yet available, though election officials acknowledged that they had anticipated low numbers and voting appeared slow at Dhaka polling stations.

    At one, in the Lalbagh area, 626 of 2,274 voters, or 28 percent, cast ballots. At another nearby site, final turnout among male voters was 21 percent.

    The BNP said low turnout vindicated its denunciation of the poll as a farce.

    "The turnout is a clear indication that the common people rejected this election and it is almost an election without voters," Shamsher Mobin Chowdhury, a BNP vice chairman, told Reuters on Sunday.

    Junior Law Minister Mohammad Quamrul Islam said the election was necessary for the democratic process and repeated that another poll could be held anytime in agreement with the BNP.

    "But they must stop violence before dialogue for the next elections could start," he told reporters after voting.

    The BNP denounces Hasina's scrapping of the practice of having a caretaker government oversee elections. The Awami League says the interim government system has proved a failure.

    Many BNP leaders are in jail or in hiding, and Khaleda says she is under virtual house arrest, which the government denies.

    The European Union, a duty free market for nearly 60 percent of Bangladesh's garment exports, refused to send election observers, as did the United States and the Commonwealth, a grouping of 53 mainly former British colonies.

    "The elections have to happen to ensure a government is formed and the country can start functioning again normally," said Mehedi Rahman, 43, a schoolteacher voting in Dhaka.

    "The unfortunate part is there is hardly any meaning because the opposition has boycotted it and the outcome is known."

    (Additional reporting by Nandita Bose and Serajul Quadir and Reuters Television; Editing by Ron Popeski and Michael Perry)

    Bangladesh ruling party wins poll hit by violence, boycott | Reuters
     
  2. Rock n Rolla

    Rock n Rolla Lt. Colonel STAR MEMBER

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    Sheikh Hasina's govt is better than Khaleda Zia's one...for India !! :yey:
     
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  3. ColdPlay

    ColdPlay Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    Good, 5 more years for Awami League.
     
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  4. Himanshu Pandey

    Himanshu Pandey Don't get mad, get even. STAR MEMBER

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    not a good sign for Bangladesh.. it has been on the way of growth but now they are on the way of its brother
     
  5. Zeus_@21

    Zeus_@21 Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    Yes, It did clocked a 6% GDP growth for the past 3 years. But thanks to Jamat and BNP, it will soon vanish.

    An unstable BD will create a lot of problems for India in future.
     
  6. Himanshu Pandey

    Himanshu Pandey Don't get mad, get even. STAR MEMBER

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    yes but it will create a bigger threat for its own citizen
     
  7. Zeus_@21

    Zeus_@21 Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    Basically, forcing some of them to trespass the borders ..... :sad:
     
  8. Himanshu Pandey

    Himanshu Pandey Don't get mad, get even. STAR MEMBER

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    or providing shooting practice boards to BSF
     
  9. Gessler

    Gessler BANNED BANNED

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    That's why I support Indian military intervention in BD to eliminate the Islamic forces and
    bring atleast some moderate level of stability for BD.
    [MENTION=7076]rocky.idf[/MENTION] Your opinion is welcome.
     
  10. Soumya

    Soumya Major STAR MEMBER

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    Pandey'ji no more shooting. Our secoolar govt given them free hand to come and pole vault into India. BSF now only have lathis with them to fight well equipped pole vaulters. Because of this one BSF officer was killed by some BD pole vaulter.
     
  11. Manmohan Yadav

    Manmohan Yadav Brigadier STAR MEMBER

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    Were you expecting something else :happy:
     
  12. Himanshu Pandey

    Himanshu Pandey Don't get mad, get even. STAR MEMBER

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    just 5 more months and we will get rid of this incompetent government.. only concern is does modi will remove the illegal occupants from our nation as it is very hot subject to touch... but if he will... BJP will get a strong foot hold in eastern and north-eastern states where it is not strong.

    no more one-liners or similes as post.
     
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  13. Manmohan Yadav

    Manmohan Yadav Brigadier STAR MEMBER

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    yaar, ab ye rule kab aya ?
     
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  14. ricky123

    ricky123 Captain FULL MEMBER

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    :dance3::dance3::dance3::dance3:

    Anyway back to topic .. i dont think india should go in ...it will only give BD one more reason to hate india ... instead we should stay outside and hope that they resolve thier disputes
     
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  15. Zeus_@21

    Zeus_@21 Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    You seem to be more reasonable.... :tup:
     
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