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UN calls for restraint in Bangladesh

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Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina speaks during a press conference in Dhaka on December 31, 2018. – Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has secured a fourth term with a landslide victory in polls the opposition slammed as “farcical” over claims of vote-rigging, and clashes between rival supporters that killed at least 17 people. Hasina’s ruling Awami League party and its allies won 288 seats in the 300-seat parliament, with the main opposition securing only six seats, Election Commission secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed said. (Photo by Indranil MUKHERJEE / AFP)

The United Nations called for restraint in Bangladesh on Monday following elections that turned violent and said complaints about the outcome should be addressed through legal means.

Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s ruling party and its allies won a landslide victory in the vote on Sunday but the main opposition, which won only six seats in the 300-seat parliament, slammed the polls as rigged.

“The United Nations is aware of violent incidents and reports of irregularities in the Bangladesh general elections,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.

“We call on all sides to exercise restraint and ensure a peaceful post-electoral environment, where people can maintain their right to assembly and expression,” he added.

“We encourage the parties to address electoral complaints in a peaceful manner and through legal means. Violence and attacks on people and property are not acceptable.”

Police said at least 21 people were killed during the election campaign and voting day.

The opposition alliance led by the Bangladesh National Party called for a new election, but electoral authorities rejected the request.


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