Politics
The opposition alliance rejected the election as "farcical" and demanded a new vote under a neutral administration.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's party has won the general election with a landslide majority, the Election Commission said early on Monday.

An alliance dominated by Hasina's Awami League won 288 seats in the country's 300-strong parliament. The opposition alliance led by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) of former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia won just six seats.

"My congratulations to the Awami League," Helal Uddin Ahmed, secretary of the Election Commission Secretariat, told reporters.

Hasina's party was widely anticipated to win the election that was hit by violence and rigging allegations. At least 17 people were reported to have been killed in violence between rival supporters. 

Hasina, who is set to take office for the third consecutive time and fourth time overall, is credited with improving the country's economy, which grew at a faster rate than neighbouring India last year, and giving refuge to hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims who have fled Myanmar. But she has also been accused of a crackdown on media and dissent. 

New vote demanded

The opposition alliance rejected the election as "farcical" and demanded a new vote under a neutral administration. In the run up to the election, opposition parties complained that the government had crippled their ability to campaign by arresting scores of workers on "fictitious" charges. They also alleged that ruling party activists engaged in intimidation and violence against opposition supporters.

Talking to journalists at a press conference, Jatiya Oikya Front (National Unity Front) leader Kamal Hossain alleged that ruling party men resorted to widespread irregularities, including forcing out of their polling agents, stuffing ballots, assaulting and intimidating their supporters.

Speaking at the press conference, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said the election proves once again that free and fair election is not possible under any partisan government in Bangladesh.

Hasina's ruling Bangladesh Awami League (AL) party brushed aside the allegations, saying the opposition alliance has been resorting to falsehood while sensing it would not be able to win the election.

With IANS inputs