Bangladesh’s ruling Awami League won more than two-thirds of the seats in Parliament after an election boycotted by major Opposition parties and marred by violence and low turnout.

The party led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina secured 232 out of 300 Parliamentary seats, according to preliminary results announced by the Election Commission on Monday.

The Jatiya party of former military dictator Hussain Muhammad Ersha was second with 33 seats.

With more than two-thirds of the seats in Parliament, Hasina’s Awami League, which had 230 seats in Parliament after the 2008 general elections, is now sure to form the new government.

The Bangladesh Nationalist Party-led Opposition alliance of former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia boycotted the election and tried to prevent it being held. A representative said the poll was “farcical” and that any government formed would be illegal and illegitimate.

At least 20 people were killed as violence erupted in many areas when the Opposition supporters tried to disrupt the voting. The turnout was not officially announced, but an official who asked not to be named said it might have been slightly higher than 20 per cent.

The Opposition called a 48-hour strike on Monday to demand the cancellation of the voting results. It wants a non-partisan caretaker administration to oversee a new election.

Voting took place in just 147 of the country’s 300 constituencies because many candidates were running unopposed.

Earlier, 127 candidates of the Awami League, 20 of the Jatiya Party, three of Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal, two of Workers Party of Bangladesh, and one candidate of Jatiya Party (Manju) were elected unopposed.

Among the 147 contested parliamentary seats, the Awami League got 105, the Jatiya Party 13, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal two, Workers Party four and 15 seats were distributed among several smaller parties.

Voting in eight constituencies was cancelled because of violence.

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