Bangladesh polls torched, shots fired in election boycott
DHAKA, Bangladesh — Police in Bangladesh fired at protesters and opposition activists torched more than 100 polling stations on Sunday during a national election boycotted by the opposition and described as flawed by the international community. At least 18 people were killed in election-related violence.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's refusal to heed opposition demands to step down and appoint a neutral caretaker to oversee the election led to the boycott, undermining the legitimacy of the vote, which is all but certain to return Hasina to power.
Opposition activists have staged attacks, strikes and transportation blockades in unrest that has left at least 293 people dead since last year.
“We never expected such an election,” said Aminul Islam, a resident of the capital, Dhaka, who refused to vote. “For such a situation, both the government and opposition are responsible. They don't want to establish democracy.”
Voter turnout appeared low, though official numbers were not known.
In a statement, opposition spokesman Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir praised Bangladeshis for “rejecting this meaningless” election.
Vote counting began after polls closed on Sunday. Official results are expected on Monday morning.
The opposition announced a 48-hour general strike starting on Monday morning to demand that the election results be voided.
H.T. Imam, co-chairman of the ruling Awami League's election steering committee, accused the opposition of using violence to stir panic among people.
“Still, I congratulate people who ignored such threats and came to polling stations,” he said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Japan stunned by video claiming death of 1 of 2 Islamic State hostages
- Radical left wins Greek parliamentary election on vow to end austerity measures
- Ukraine: Phone calls prove Russia-backed rebels attacked Mariupol, killed 30
- More than 30 Filipino police commandos killed in clash with rebels
- Boko Haram attacks northeastern Nigerian city; scores killed
- Images of shot Egypt protester revive criticism of police
- Obama defends Yemen counterterrorism strategy
- Rebels capture Yemen’s palace, drive key U.S. ally to brink of collapse
- Terror explodes anew in Ukraine as rebels’ rockets hit city of Mariupol
- Obama, Modi declare era of ‘new trust’ in US-India relations
- Pope Francis says Catholics don’t have to breed ‘like rabbits’