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Two opposition leaders win in Bangladesh by-polls


Dhaka : Two stalwarts have joined the opposition ranks in Bangladesh parliament while Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Awami League won three seats in Thursday’s by-elections amid charges of malpractice.

Former speaker Jamiruddin Sircar and former law minister Moudud Ahmed won from two constituencies in Bogra on Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) tickets.

The ruling Awami League (AL) candidates won in three seats, wresting one of them from its ally Jatiya Party (JP).

The JP won in Rangpur-3, which was vacated by its chairman and the country’s former president H.M. Ershad. Ershad’s wife Rawshan Ershad won the seat.

The party rejected the election results of Kurigram-2, complaining that AL activists did not allow its poll agents at polling centres, The Daily Star said.

The by-polls for the vacant Jatiya Sangsad seats were marked by poor voter turnout.

Abul Kalam Azad, Nazmul Hasan Papan and Zafar Ali of the AL won in Rangpur-6, Kishoreganj-6 and Kurigram-2 constituencies while Sircar and Moudud won in Bogra-6 and Bogra-7.

The by-elections were caused by Hasina, her political rival Khaleda Zia and Ershad vacating the extra seats they had won in last December’s general election.

One seat was vacated by Zillur Rahman, who became the country’s president.