IANS

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has won an overwhelming majority in Bangladesh's parliamentary election, giving her party -- the Awami League -- a fourth consecutive term, the media reported, citing an election official.

After an election campaign fraught with violence and a boycott from the main opposition party, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), it is confirmed as per several media reports that Hasina's party has won 216 seats out of 299, Sky News reported.

"The ruling Awami League party has won more than 50 per cent of seats," the official said.

A final official declaration on the outcome of the vote is expected by the Election Commission late Monday, Sky News reported.

Around 40 per cent voted out of a total 120 million people who were eligible, according to Kazi Habibul Awal, the Chief Election Commissioner.

Independent candidates took 52 parliamentary seats, while the Jatiya Party -- the third largest in the country -- took 11, according to local TV stations.

Hasina's party has already crossed the majority mark and counting is still on. This will be her fifth term as Prime Minister of Bangladesh.

Hasina's government had arrested thousands of rival politicians ahead of the polls. The Opposition BNP led by former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia boycotted the polls.

Zia, 78, is under house arrest after being convicted in a corruption case, Sky News reported.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Hasina was re-elected to parliament from the Gopalganj-3 constituency.

According to a report by bdnews24, Hasina bagged 249,965 votes while her nearest rival M. Nizam Uddin Lashkar from the Bangladesh Supreme Party secured just 469 votes.

Hasina has been voted to parliament from the Gopalganj-3 seat for the eighth time since 1986.

The win also means the 76-year-old has become the country's longest-serving leader.

The BNP led by former PM Khaleda Zia refused to accept the election outcome, Sky News reported.

In the build-up to the election, there were at least 18 arson attacks, including one on a train on Friday night that resulted in four deaths.

Seven men belonging to the BNP and its youth wing were arrested for their alleged involvement in the train attack.

The Sheikh Hasina government went on to defend the election, saying 27 parties and 404 independent candidates participated in it.

(Except for the headline, this story, from a syndicated feed, has not been edited by Odishatv.in staff)

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