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The US and UK say Bangladesh’s elections extending Hasina’s rule weren’t credible

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DHAKA, Bangladesh — The US and the United Kingdom stated the elections that prolonged Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s rule weren’t credible, free and honest.

Each nations, which have commerce and improvement ties with Bangladesh, additionally condemned political violence that preceded Sunday’s election through which Hasina’s occasion gained greater than two-thirds of the parliamentary seats whereas turnout was low and the primary opposition occasion boycotted.

“The US stays involved by the arrests of 1000’s of political opposition members and by experiences of irregularities on elections day. The US shares the view with different observers that these elections weren’t free or honest and we remorse that not all events participated,” State Division spokesperson Mathew Miller stated from Washington.

He urged Bangladesh’s authorities to credibly examine experiences of violence and maintain these accountable accountable.

The U.Okay. stated the democratic requirements weren’t met constantly within the lead-up to the election.

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“Democratic elections depend upon credible, open, and honest competitors. Respect for human rights, rule of legislation and due course of are important components of the democratic course of. These requirements weren’t constantly met throughout the election interval. We’re involved on the vital variety of arrests of opposition occasion members earlier than polling day,” the UK’s International, Commonwealth and Growth Workplace stated within the assertion.

The U.S. assertion stated it stays “dedicated to partnering with Bangladesh to advance our shared imaginative and prescient for a free and open Indo-Pacific, to supporting human rights and civil society in Bangladesh, and to deepening our people-to-people and financial ties.”

Bangladesh is a crucial accomplice of the U.S. curiosity within the Indo-Pacific area together with neighboring India amid rising affect of China.

China, Russia, India and another nations congratulated Hasina for the victory and pledged to proceed to accomplice with the South Asian nation.

The statements got here after Hasina stated at a information convention Monday that the elections have been free and honest.

Her ruling Awami League gained 222 seats of 299 contested. Unbiased candidates took 62, whereas the Jatiya Get together, the third largest, took 11 seats and three smaller events obtained 3 seats. The lead to one seat remained undeclared. The election of 1 seat was postponed as a result of a candidate died.

The primary opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Get together led by former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia and its allies boycotted the election, and voter turnout was a low 41.8%. Whereas election day was comparatively calm, a wave of violence preceded the vote.

Zia’s occasion stated greater than 20,000 supporters had been arrested since Oct. 28 when an anti-government rally turned violent in Dhaka. The federal government disputed the figures and stated arrests have been for particular costs akin to arson and vandalism.

Bangladesh has a historical past of political violence, navy coups and assassinations. Hasina and Zia ruled the nation alternately for a few years, cementing a feud that has since polarized Bangladesh’s politics and fueled violence round elections. This yr’s vote raised questions over its credibility when there aren’t any main challengers to tackle the incumbent.

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