Deadly Clashes as Bangladesh Voted in General Election

UN calls for ‘credible’ election in Bangladesh

UN calls for ‘credible’ election in Bangladesh

Early results showed Hasina's Awami League racing into a clear lead, quickly securing 61 seats against one for the opposition - some by tens of thousands of votes - according to Channel 24, which is compiling results from around the country. The channel called the election's in Hasina's favour.

Mr Hossain claimed about 100 candidates from the opposition had withdrawn from their races during the day, with his alliance to decide on its next steps at a meeting on Monday.

Over half a million security personnel were deployed in an attempt to prevent violence.

Hasina, 71, has been lauded for boosting economic growth in the poor South Asian nation during her decade in power and for welcoming Rohingya refugees fleeing a military crackdown in neighbouring Myanmar.

In Ms Zia's absence, Kamal Hossain, who was previously both an AL minister and Hasina ally, leads the main opposition grouping, the Jatiya Oikya Front, which includes Ms Zia's Bangladesh National Party (BNP). During the election campaign, thousands of government were taken opponent.

The opposition fielded candidates for all 299 parliamentary seats that were contested.

"I am not even allowed to campaign, and they are threatening voters to stay away", Khan said at his home in Dhaka earlier this week, where he was visiting an assistant hospitalised after being assaulted. "Especially women voters are being forced to vote for the boat", Mr Alal said, referring to the Awami League symbol.

In a 300-member Bangladesh parliament, a party needs 151 seats to form the government.

"Some stray incidents have happened". "Each vote you cast will pave the way for freedom of democracy and people", said Rizvi.

He said 700,000 officials and staff worked under the commission on the election day, where voting was held by ballot system in 293 constituencies and EVMs were put into play in six constituencies.

The broadcaster, which is owned by Jamuna Group - one of Bangladesh's biggest conglomerates, which also runs a newspaper - is known for its independent coverage.




The normally traffic-clogged streets of the capital were largely empty because of a ban on vehicles for everyone except election observers and journalists.

"Vote tomorrow. Don't let them intimidate you".

In the first fully-contested elections in the country for 10 years, there have been local reports of 16 people being killed in election-related violence.

In this election, some 104 million people were eligible to vote, including many young, first-time voters.

"No member of law enforcement will arrest or harass polling agents of any candidate unless there are specific allegations against them", he said in a directive which he issued in a pre-poll press conference in Dhaka. It was the highest level of security, so that the election could take place in a "peaceful atmosphere", said Rafiqul Islam of the election Commission.

Asked to respond, Helal Uddin Ahmad, the secretary of the election commission, told BenarNews, "We have asked the police and other law enforcers to investigate all the allegations of violence and let us know".

"Hasina's use of the state machinery to subjugate the opposition virtually ensures her electoral victory", said Sasha Riser-Kositsky, a South Asia analyst for New York-based Eurasia Group.

"I believe that people will cast their votes in favor of Awami League to continue the pace of development", Hasina told reporters in Dhaka.

The Awami League has sought to portray opposition parties as composed of thugs and traitors, with particular focus on its 1971 war for independence from Pakistan, Reuters recently reported. In some ways, she has presided over the best decade in the country's 47-year history. Amid a flurry of late campaign appearances on Wednesday, Hasina said the "BNP-Jamaat alliance carried out bomb attacks in 88 constituencies".

Human Rights Watch and other global groups have decried the crackdown, saying it has created a climate of fear which could prevent opposition supporters from casting ballots.

The United States has raised concerns about the elections while the United Nations called for greater efforts to make the vote fair.

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