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Bangladesh Prime Minister Wins Another Term, Opposition Rejects Result

Others were seen trickling into polling booths, where posters bearing the ruling Awami League's "boat" symbol far outnumbered those of the opposition.

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Bagladesh, election, media
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina gestures after casting her vote in the morning during the general election in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Dec. 30, 2018. VOA

Election officials in Bangladesh said Monday an alliance led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina won a huge majority, clearing the way for her to serve a third straight term while opponents rejected the result.

The Awami League-led group won at least 288 of 300 seats.

An opposition alliance led by Kamal Hossain won at least six seats, according to the Election Commission.

Hossain called Sunday’s election “farcical” and said the outcome will be rejected. Hossain also called for a new election held under a neutral authority.

Opponents have criticized reports of voter intimidation and “irregularities” in the election.

bangladesh
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi shakes hand with his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina, VOA

Violence between the ruling and opposition parties which marred the election campaigns carried on into election day, despite heavy security throughout the country, including 600,000 troops and other security forces deployed across the country.

Thirteen people were killed in clashes between opposing party supporters, and three men were shot by police who said they were protecting polling stations, according to police. An auxiliary police member was also killed by armed opposition activists, according to the French Press Agency.

Voter turnout in the country of 165 million people was low in the first fully competitive general election in a decade.

“I believe the people of Bangladesh will vote for the boat (Awami League symbol) and will give us another opportunity to serve them so that we can maintain our upward trend of development, and take Bangladesh forward as a developing country,” Hasina said Sunday.

Hasina’s main rival, former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, the leader of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party, is in prison on corruption charges and a court has banned her from running.

bangladesh
Salahuddin Ahmed, a Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) candidate for general election, is seen bleeding as he was stabbed on a election day in Dhaka, Dec. 30, 2018. VOA

In Zia’s absence, opposition parties have formed a coalition led by Hossain, an 82-year-old Oxford-educated lawyer and former member of Hasina’s Awami League party.

“I told everybody over the phone that, besides sending me the complaints, let the returning officers, and their superiors and newspapers know about everything that you all are witnessing. Besides talking to you, we are going to collect the complaints and share them with both the government and election commission,” Hossain said.

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Mobile internet was blocked and the streets of the capital, Dhaka were largely deserted as many had left to vote in their home towns.

Others were seen trickling into polling booths, where posters bearing the ruling Awami League’s “boat” symbol far outnumbered those of the opposition. (VOA)

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Lok Sabha 2019 Elections, EC Outlines Stringent Guidelines For Social Media Usage During Campaigns

Candidates and political parties are required to include their campaigning expenditure, including the money spent on social media advertising, in their poll expenditure account.

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social media
While declaring the election dates, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora also announced strict guidelines for use of social media by political parties and candidates. Pixabay

With the Election Commission outlining stringent guidelines for social media usage during elections, political parties and candidates won’t be able to post unverified advertisements, photographs of defence personnel, hate speeches and fake news on their accounts.

The poll panel here on Sunday announced Lok Sabha elections in seven phases between April 11 and May 19.

While declaring the election dates, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora also announced strict guidelines for use of social media by political parties and candidates.

According to the new guidelines, candidates are required to furnish details of their social media accounts at the time of filing nominations and their activities on Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Google would be under the Election Commission’s close scrutiny.

Provisions of the model code of conduct will also apply to the content being posted on social media by candidates and political parties. Any violation may lead to action by the Election Commission.

Twitter
According to the new guidelines, candidates are required to furnish details of their social media accounts at the time of filing nominations and their activities on Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Google would be under the Election Commission’s close scrutiny.
Pixabay

“The media certification and monitoring committees (MCMCs) are in place at the district and state levels. One social media expert will also be part of this committee at each level. All political advertisements, proposed to be issued on the social media, shall require pre-certification from the MCMC concerned,” Arora said.

The platforms will also deploy appropriate fact checkers to scan fake news and abuses on the social media.

As per the guidelines, no political party or candidate must display photographs of defence personnel on social media for the campaigning purpose.

social media
As per the guidelines, no political party or candidate must display photographs of defence personnel on social media for the campaigning purpose. Pixabay

They must also not post any content that could vitiate the electoral process or disturb peace, tranquillity, social harmony and public order.

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Candidates and political parties are required to include their campaigning expenditure, including the money spent on social media advertising, in their poll expenditure account.

“This, among other things, shall include payments made to internet companies and websites for carrying advertisements and also campaign-related operational expenditure on making creative development of content, salaries and wages paid to the team employed to maintain social media accounts,” the Election Commission said. (IANS)