Clashes between supporters of rival political formations during the general elections in Bangladesh have caused the death of at least 17 people this Sunday; between these seven from the ruling party and five from the opposition, according to statements by a police spokesman gathered by Reuters. The Prime Minister's party, Sheikh Hasina, won the election, informed the Electoral Commission. THEThe opposition coalition led by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) has demanded, in the midst of allegations of fraud, that the elections be declared void and reconvened as soon as possible. MMore than a hundred million voters have been called to elect the president in the eighth most populous country in the world, with 165 million inhabitants.
"We ask the Electoral Commission to cancel and declare the elections null and void, and we want them to do so immediately," said Front coalition leader Jatiya Oikya, Kamal Hossain, during a press conference following the closure of the schools. election. Hossain called for a repeat of the elections "as soon as possible" under the protection of an interim government, a mode suppressed by Hasina on his return to power in 2009 and which led to the opposition to boycott the following elections in 2014 .
The main Islamist party, the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), has announced that it "rejects and boycotts" the minutes before school closures. More than 40 opposition coalition candidates withdrew during the vote.
The Electoral Commission is analyzing irregularities and threats during the election day denounced by the opposition. as well as a campaign of intimidation that has led to the arrest of thousands of people from the start of the election campaign. "The accusations come from all over the country and are under investigation," said spokesman for Election Commission S. M. Asaduzzaman, just before the polls closed. "If we find some confirmation [de fraude] Through our channels, we will take measures according to the rules ".
The capital, Dhaka, has been the quietest place in the country. Most of the incidents took place in the suburbs, where voters were caught in squabbles between the police, supporters of the Prime Minister's Awami League, Sheikh Hasina and opponents of the Jatiya Oikya Front, supported by the BNP historian. Another 64 people were injured, police sources told local media, Bangladesh Independent.
The electoral campaign was punctuated by violence and accusations of repression against the opposition. The authorities mobilized more than 600,000 soldiers, including members of the army and the police, and ordered the blocking of mobile networks during the day to "prevent rumors from spreading".
The official results give as a winner to Sheikh Hasina, the current prime minister. Thus Hasina reaches her third consecutive term, the fourth in total. In the post for 10 years, the prime minister, 71 years and daughter of the first president of Bangladesh, is very popular thanks to the economic growth of the country and its work to modernize its image. He also welcomed hundreds of thousands of Rohingya fleeing Burma into its territory.
For its part, the opposition coalition, reduced by judicial convictions and corruption, presented a former economics professor with three decades of political career, Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, as a candidate for the prime minister. While the main Islamist party (JI) managed to appear under the cover of the BNP after its registration of candidates was canceled in court.
Critics of the current government describe Hasina as an embryonic autocrat who has repressed dissent with mass arrests of opposition activists, enforced disappearances and draconian laws restricting the press. Human Rights Watch and other international human rights organizations have denounced in a joint declaration the repressive measures, which have created a climate of fear that can deter opponents from going to the polls.
Opposition in Bangladesh was mired in chaos in October, when a court sentenced the BNP leader to death, Tarique Rahman (son of the former prime minister, Khaleda Zia) and two former ministers for their role in the attack on the current head of government in 2004, which caused 24 deaths and a hundred injured in Dhaka.