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12th JS polls: Awami League wins record fourth straight term

News Desk |
Update: 2024-01-08 08:19:51
12th JS polls: Awami League wins record fourth straight term

The Awami League (AL) secured a landslide victory in the 12th national election on Sunday (January), paving the way for the party to form the government for the fourth consecutive term.

When this report was filed early Monday, unofficial results showed the Awami League won in 223 constituencies. The Jatiya Party secured 11 seats while the independents got 61. 

The Awami League, some of its like-minded parties, the opposition in parliament Jatiya Party, and a record number of independent candidates contested the elections. The main opposition BNP and its allies boycotted the polls. 

Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Habibul Awal at a post-election press briefing said the polls were free, fair, and neutral because of the government's political will, sincerity, and cooperation.

“Since the government has sincerity and we received assistance as assured by it earlier, the elections were held in a free, fair, and neutral manner through coordinated efforts under the partisan administration,” he said.

He also estimated voter turnout at 40%. 

Of the 44 registered parties, 28 contested and 16 boycotted the elections. 1,969 candidates, including 1,534 from 28 parties and 436 independents, were in the race in 299 constituencies. The EC earlier suspended polls in Naogaon-2 following the death of a candidate.

According to the EC, the number of voters in the country is 11,96,91,633 while there are 42,024 polling stations. 11,882 voters voted through postal ballots in the 12th national election. 

Calling the polls a victory for democracy and the countrymen, Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader at a post-election press conference said, “Voters have boycotted the BNP for boycotting the elections.”

Some foreign election observers said they were highly impressed to see that the elections were held in a credible, transparent, and peaceful manner.

The ruling party fielded candidates in 266 seats while its partners in the 14-party alliance – JSD (Inu), Workers Party, and Jatiya Party (Manju) – contested in six seats with the boat symbol.

Besides, Trinamool BNP contested in 135 seats, Bangladesh Congress in 96, JSD in 66, National People's Party in 122, Jatiya Party (Manju) in 13, and Bikalpadhara Bangladesh in 10.

Some 90 female candidates and another 79 from ethnic minority and other groups also participated in the race.

The Awami League withdrew candidates in 26 seats as part of an agreement with the Jatiya Party, which fielded candidates in 265 constituencies. However, Jatiya Party candidates in around 40 constituencies boycotted the elections till Sunday while over 200 remained inactive fearing defeat.

BNP’s boycott

The BNP and its allies boycotted the polls as part of their movement demanding the resignation of the Awami League government and the dissolution of parliament. It also demanded elections under a non-party government.

After voting ended, BNP standing committee member Abdul Moyeen Khan spoke at a press conference and congratulated voters for not going to polling stations.

“On behalf of not only the BNP but also all those who boycotted this farcical election, I salute the people,” he said. 
The BNP and its allies boycotted the 10th parliamentary election in 2014. It contested the next national polls but faced a big defeat. It then rejected the results and demanded re-elections.

A total of 20,773 local observers were permitted to monitor Sunday’s elections. 517 observers of 40 organisations monitored the polls centrally. Moreover, 20,256 observers of 84 organisations monitored the elections locally, according to the EC.

Voting began at 8am and ended at 4pm without any break amid tight security. The counting of votes started immediately after the end of voting. Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina cast her vote at Dhaka City College in the morning.

In the 12th national election manifesto, the Awami League pledged to build a smart Bangladesh.

BDST: 0818 HRS, JAN 08, 2024 

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