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UN asks B’desh political parties to ensure peaceful post electoral environment

The UN has called on all sides in Bangladesh to “exercise restraint” and “ensure a peaceful post electoral environment,” where people can maintain their right to assembly and expression.

The UN’s remark comes days after Bangladesh’s ruling Awami League secured a landslide victory in the general elections, an outcome rejected by opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) which demanded fresh polls.

The election was marred by violence, in which 17 people were killed.

“The United Nations is aware of violent incidents and reports of irregularities in the Bangladesh general elections. We regret the loss of life and injuries sustained by candidates and voters during the electoral campaign and on election-day,” the UN Spokesperson’s office said in a statement on Monday.

The UN said that the violence and attacks on people and property are not acceptable.

“We encourage the parties to address electoral complaints in a peaceful manner and through legal means,” the UN urged, adding that “violence and attacks on people and property are not acceptable,” the statement said.

The world body also welcomed the participation of the opposition in elections for the first time in 10 years.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Awami League and its allies won the general elections on Sunday, bagging 288 of the total 299 seats which went to the polls.

The BNP of the jailed ex-premier Khaleda Zia won five seats in the 300-member Parliament. The party rejected the poll outcome as “farcical” and demanded fresh election.

The Election Commission, however, ruled out holding fresh polls.

The opposition Jatiya Oikya Front – National Unity Front (NUF) – comprising the BNP and some smaller parties, criticised the Election Commission and accused its chief of being biased.

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