Bangladesh Polls: Seventeen killed in violence

Dec 31, 2018, 13:47 IST | Agencies

Most of the dead were ruling party activists, while others were workers of opposition BNP and its allies

Bangladesh Polls: Seventeen killed in violence
The nation saw violence despite tight security measures

Voting in a tense election to choose a new government in Bangladesh ended on Sunday with at least 17 people killed in poll-related violence amid allegations of manipulation by the ruling Awami League led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

According to the Election Commission, 1,848 candidates are contesting for 299 out of 300 Parliament seats. The polls are being held at 40,183 polling stations. Voting was suspended in one seat due to the death of a candidate.

While Hasina is seeking re-election for a fourth term as the prime minister, her chief rival, ex-premier and Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chief Khalida Zia, faces an uncertain future in a Dhaka jail.

The EC officials said they have received over a hundred complaints from candidates throughout the country amid reports of violence. At least 17 people, including a member of a security agency, have been killed in eight districts in poll-related violence, with dozens injured.

"I'm always confident about our victory in the elections... I trust my people and I know that they will choose us so that they can get a better life in future," Sheikh Hasina said. At least 10 candidates announced to stay off the polls alleging that their agents were ousted from polling centres by the ruling party workers and that its supporters are facing violence.

EVMs a first in general elections
Bangladesh deployed electronic voting machines for the first time in a general election, though only on a limited scale, a move which received mixed responses from the voters amid reports of glitches in some booths. Six of the 299 constituencies saw the use of EVMs.

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