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PM Hasina casts her vote amid opposition’s call for boycott

bangladesh poll: Please follow this space for all the latest news and updates from Bangladesh as general elections are to be held on Sunday. Voting for the 300-member Bangladeshi parliament began on Sunday amid pre-poll violence and calls for a boycott from the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party and about 13 other like-minded parties. The BNP on Saturday launched a 48-hour nationwide strike against the “illegal government” amid sporadic violence.

According to the country’s election commission, a total of 119.6 million registered voters are eligible to vote in Sunday’s polls at more than 42,000 polling stations across the country.

There are 1,970 candidates in the fray, including 90 women and 79 from religious and ethnic minorities. Apart from the 28 political parties contesting the elections, a record 747 independent candidates have filed their nominations, most of them from the ruling Awami League.

More than 100 observers will participate in the elections being held under tight security, including three from India.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s ruling Awami League is expected to win for the fourth consecutive term as the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) of former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, 78, who is under house arrest on corruption charges, Boycotted the elections.

Sunday’s elections are also being called a contest between ruling Awami League candidates and Awami League independents as 747 independents have filed their nominations out of the total 1,970 candidates in the fray, most of whom are from AL.

Sporadic incidents of violence ahead of the elections shocked the country as a passenger train was set on fire by miscreants on Friday, killing four people and several polling stations were also set on fire across the country, however There were no casualties reported in those attacks.

In a nationally telecast address ahead of the elections this week, PM Hasina urged pro-democracy and law-abiding parties not to promote ideas that “disrupt” the country’s constitutional process.



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