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The election in Bangladesh is over, the ruling Awami League returned to power but the protests will not go away. The opposition Bangladesh National Party which led a nationwide strike on Sunday has demanded a second walk out and for the poll to be declared null and void.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had rejected demands for her to step down and set up a neutral government to oversee the election which was scarred by violence. At least 21 people reportedly died during polling on Sunday.
“I read in the newspapers that there was massive fraud in the Dhaka polling stations and that many people were killed. I cannot accept this was a valid election,” opined one man.
The turn out was in marked contrast to the election of 2008 when more than 70 percent voted. Just over 20 percent reportedly took part this time with officials blaming the boycott and violence for the low numbers.
In the run up to the ballot scores of opposition supporters died in police shootings. All elections in Bangladesh had been held under a neutral caretaker administration since 1991. But the ruling party abolished the system three years ago.
With all but a few of the constituencies declared the Awami League won 105 of the contested seats while it also held 127 which were unopposed. The final result is expected later on Monday.