Bangladesh opposition calls for new elections

Thehead of Bangladesh's main opposition party called the current government illegal, citing low voter turnout.

Bangladesh opposition calls for new elections

World Bulletin / News Desk

The chairwoman of the main opposition party in Bangladesh has called the country's current government illegal and called for fresh elections under the supervision of a neutral, non-party government.

Khaleda Zia, herself a former prime minister, made the remarks Monday during a rally in Suhrawardy Uddan, a large park in Dhaka, the country's capital. She cited what she said was minuscule voter turnout in the last election, which was boycotted by her party, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, or BNP, as well as allied parties.

"People have rejected the current government by not casting their votes in January 5 elections," Zia said. She claimed that the turnout in the election was below 5 percent. However, three days after the vote, the Election Commission of Bangladesh put the turnout at 40 percent.

The current government is headed by the Awami League under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

The non-governmental organization Human Rights Watch has said that "dozens and perhaps hundreds of opposition leaders and members were taken into custody before the elections," and Zia was placed "under de facto house arrest," with security forces surrounding her house.

The United States, the EU, and others members of the international community refused to send observers to the elections.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 21 Ocak 2014, 10:16