Bangladesh opposition vows to unseat Sheikh Hasina government

Bangladesh’s opposition Wednesday reiterated its vow to unseat Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s new government with a popular movement.

“We’ll continue (our) movement,” Xinhua quoted ex-prime minister Khaleda Zia as telling journalists Wednesday in her first media briefing after the formation of Hasina’s new cabinet followed by the Jan 5 parliament elections.

She alleged that not even “five percent of all votes were cast on an average in the farcical polls”, while the Election Commission claimed that “40% votes were cast in it”.

Khaleda Zia termed the present government “illegal”.

A total of 21 parties, including Khaleda Zia’s Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), boycotted the elections as Hasina paid no heed to their demands for a non-party caretaker government for holding elections. Mired in controversy, Bangladesh’s 10th parliamentary elections were held in just 147 of 300 seats in 59 of 64 districts of the country Jan 5 as 153 candidates had been elected uncontested.

According to results from the Election Commission, the ruling Awami League party won 232 seats, of which 127 were uncontested, securing three-fourths majority in the election. Sheikh Hasina formed her new cabinet taking the oath of office Sunday for the second consecutive term after last week’s parliament polls.

Sheikh Hasina, eldest daughter of Bangladesh’s founding father and first president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, was sworn in Sunday as prime minister of the country for the second consecutive term. The opposition party arranged the briefing to clear its stance on the latest political development and its next course of action on post-polls agitation programme.

Khaleda Zia announced a mass rallies in Dhaka’s Suhrawardy Udyan and across the nation Jan 20.

Apart from that, Khaleda Zia also announced nationwide mass protests and black flag processions Jan 29. She addresses the media, a day after meeting her allies in the 18-Party alliance Tuesday.

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