Khaleda Zia says election "not acceptable

Published on Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Khaleda  Zia says election "not acceptable"  

DHAKA: Ex-Bangladesh premier Khaleda Zia said Wednesday elections in which she lost by a landslide were "not acceptable", according to a broadcast on national television.

"I thank the chief election commissioner for implementing a stage-managed election. This election is not acceptable to the BNP," said Zia during a short address broadcast on private TV station NTV just after midnight following an emergency meeting with party leaders.

"It also won't be acceptable to the people," she added.

She said the high voter-turnout numbers given by the Election Commission were fake and that there was rampant vote-rigging, which the BNP could prove.

Zia's Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) won just 29 of the possible 300 seats in Monday's vote, while left-leaning rival the Awami League, led by Sheikh Hasina Wajed, picked up 230 seats.

The private online newspaper said Zia and the BNP were considering what legal steps to take.

Some 200,000 observers were present in Bangladesh on election day, including 2,500 from the EU, the Commonwealth and other foreign independent groups.

The US State Department on Tuesday hailed the election as a success.

Sheikh Hasina is expected to be sworn in as prime minister before January 7. She has not given a speech since winning the vote. - AFP/de


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