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Bangladesh ruling party suffers blow in local body elections


Dhaka : Bangladesh’s ruling Awami League (AL) suffered a blow in the first phase of local body elections Wednesday, with former prime minister Khaleda Zia’s Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP)-backed candidates winning 43 chairman’s posts and those of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s party bagging only 33 in the polls held in 97 subdistricts.

Candidates backed by BNP’s key ally Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami party won 12 posts, Election Commission spokesman S.M. Asaduzzaman told Xinhua Thursday.

The BNP, which has no representation in parliament as it boycotted the Jan 5 elections, took the local elections seriously and so did the AL, which enjoys a three-fourths majority in the house.

Ruling party leaders say more than one AL candidate ran for the elections in most sub-districts, that resulted in the defeat of the party candidates in many places.

Opposition leaders claimed that the people expressed their no-confidence in the AL government through their ballots.

The ruling party leaders, however, expressed the hope that their candidates will perform better in the elections in the remaining 385 sub-districts.

The election process will be completed by April.