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Bangladesh Prime Minister Secures a Fifth Term in Office Despite Low Turnout 

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Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has won a fifth term with an overwhelming majority in the general election, according to the poll board, despite poor turnout in the vote boycotted by the main opposition.

While the Election Commission has been hesitant to release the results of Sunday’s election, TV stations with journalists around the country claimed on Monday that the Awami League won 224 of the 299 seats up for grabs. Independent candidates, many of whom were Awami League party members of various grades, received 62 votes, while the Jatiya Party, the country’s third largest, received 11 votes and the Kallyan Party received one. The results for the remaining constituencies were still being tallied.

The election took place in 299 of the 300 parliamentary seats. After an independent candidate died, the election was postponed as required by law in one seat.

The Election Commission is likely to issue its final official declaration on Monday. The main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), which voted in 2018 but did not in 2014, boycotted the election when Hasina refused to retire and allow a neutral institution to monitor the general election.

Bangladeshis generally avoided the poll on Sunday, which was plagued by violence. According to Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Habibul Awal, turnout was at 40% when polls closed, compared to more than 80% in the previous election in 2018.

The BNP has accused the ruling party of supporting “dummy” independent candidates in order to make the election appear decent, a charge refuted by the Awami League.

The BNP organized a two-day statewide strike-through Sunday, urging people to boycott the election, and declared the low participation a success for their boycott appeal.

Also Read: Bangladesh Elections Continue as Opposition Threatens to Boycott the Exercise

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