DHAKA, Jan 5 � The ruling Awami League was today poised to win Bangladesh�s general election marred by deadly clashes, a low turnout and a boycott by opposition parties, even as 21 people were killed in poll-related violence, reports PTI.
Most voters preferred to stay at home fearing violence during the polling in 147 out of 300 constituencies in 59 districts. Candidates in other constituencies would be declared elected unopposed due to the boycott, officials said.
The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) led by former prime minister Khaleda Zia boycotted the polls after her arch-rival and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina rejected the opposition�s demand for a neutral caretaker regime for election oversight.
Deadly violence flared across the country despite tens of thousands of security personnel deployed to maintain law and order. Police said 17 people, mostly opposition cadres, and a security personnel were killed today after the overnight deaths of an election officer and two other persons.
A total of 390 candidates, mostly from the Awami League and its ally Jatiya Party, contested from 147 seats where the number of voters was nearly 44 million.
Protesters hurled crude bombs at polling centres and stole ballot papers during the �one-sided� contest boycotted by the opposition. Voting was suspended at 160 centres due to torching of booths and snatching of ballot boxes and papers.