The Awami League won a comfortable two-thirds majority for a fourth election in a row on Sunday, marked by low turnout but largely peaceful voting in 299 out of 300 constituencies where voting was held, and a strong showing by independent candidates as predicted.
Ruling party candidates won in 224 seats in Sunday's voting, while independent candidates - most of them allied to AL- won 60 seats.
Besides, Jatiya Party got victorious in only 11 seats and three single candidates from three parties – Bangladesh Workers’ Party, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal-Jasod and Bangladesh Kalyan Party— secured victory in their respective constituencies.
The Election Commission secretary reported turnout was 27.15 percent till 3:00pm, but after voting closed at 4:00pm, the Chief Election Commissioner estimated the final turnout could stand at around 40 percent, which would require a big 13 percent jump in an hour.
The final turnout figure has not been released.
Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina cast her vote at Dhaka City College in the capital this morning. She ran however in the Gopalganj-3 constituency, where she bagged victory with 2,49,965 votes while her nearest rival M Nizam Uddin Lascar from Bangladesh Supreme Party secured 469 votes, said Returning officer of the district Kazi Mahbubul Alam.
She is now set to extend her run as Bangladesh’s longest-serving prime minister. The Election Commission decided to cancel the candidature of Chittagong-16 Awami League candidate Mostafizur Rahman Chowdhury in the morning for threatening the law enforcement agencies.
Voting was by-and-large peaceful, with suspensions in just 7 out of almost 42,000 centres across the 299 seats. The vote in one constituency had been postponed after the death of a candidate.
The results of the election were a mostly foregone conclusion as the main opposition BNP, the only party comparable to AL in terms of support and previous governing experience, refused to participate.