The Bangladeshi general elections were held on 30th December 2018. The elections were conducted to elect the members Jatiya Sangsad. 10,199 polling stations were set across the nation. An approximate of a hundred million people were expected to vote.
The result of the Bangladeshi general elections
The Bangladeshi general elections resulted in a landslide victory for the Sheikh Hasina led Grand Alliance. The Grand Alliance constituted of Hasina’s party Awami League that won two hundred and thirty-four seats as the major party. The other members of the alliance were Jatiya Party, Workers Party of Bangladesh, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal and Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh. Bangladesh Tarikat Federation and Bangladesh Nationalist Front were also a part of the Grand Alliance.
The controversies surrounding the Bangladeshi general elections
The Bangladeshi general elections were tainted by the claims of vote-rigging and violence. The Opposition leader Kamal Hossain has gone as far as to call the elections “farcical”. He has also demanded fresh elections that will be held under a neutral government.
This was the first time electronic voting machines were used in some constituencies. This drew tonnes of criticism. Various irregularities with the machines were reported. In some booths, it was also reported that the officers were voting on behalf of the voters.
The Jatiya Oika Front and the Left Democratic Alliance have boycotted the elections. Forty-seven incidents of violence were reported, five hundred and sixty people were injured and forty-two people were killed. A correspondent from the BBC was an eyewitness to a ballot box full of votes prior to the opening of polling stations in Chittagong.
In conclusion, the conduct of the Bangladeshi general elections of 2018 has made it the most controversial election in the independent history of Bangladesh.
The Bangladeshi general elections were supposed to be a show of democracy. However, claims of rigging, violence and suppression of opposition have marred it forever.