Bangladesh elects new Parliament; 17 people reported killed during polling

In Bangladesh, polling was held today to elect a new Parliament amid tight security. At least 17 people were killed and over dozens injured in the poll-related violence. Sources said that most of the dead were activists of ruling party Awami League while others were workers of opposition BNP or its allies.

Over six lakh security personnel including soldiers and paramilitary border guards were deployed across the country for smooth conduct of the elections. According to the Election Commission, 1,848 candidates are contesting for 299 out of 300 Parliament seats. Voting was suspended in one seat due to the death of a candidate.

The voting took place at more than 40 thousand polling stations. Electronic Voting Machines, EVMs were used for the first time in a general election in the country, though only on a limited scale. Out of the 299 parliamentary constituencies that went to polls, six saw the use of EVMs.

While incumbent Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, is seeking a fourth term , her rival ex-premier and Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chief Khalida Zia faces an uncertain future in a Dhaka jail. Zia, serving a 10-year prison term on graft charges, has been barred from contesting the polls.

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