Dhaka: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is inching towards victory in the 11th parliamentary election, early trends showed on Sunday. Hasina secured 19 seats against zero for the opposition, stated Channel 24 which is compiling the election results. The voting for the 299 seats in Bangladesh general election began at 8 AM local time (0200 GMT) ended at 4 PM (10:00 GMT) on Sunday. The counting of the votes began from 5 PM onwards.  A total of 1,848 candidates contested for 299 out of 300 Parliament seats. The polls were held at 40,183 polling stations.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who is seeking a fourth straight term in power, was the first voter at the Dhaka City College centre in the capital where her lawyer nephew and party candidate Fazle Nur Taposh was a contender. AFter casting her vote,  she had said, “We believe in democracy and we will accept the people’s mandate.”

Around 600,000 security personnel, including soldiers, were deployed across the country to ensure the smooth functioning of the election proceedings. However, supporters of Awami League and Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) engaged in a clash which resulted in the death of at least 12 people, stated reports.

Despite reports of deadly clashes, Abdul Malik, secretary at the ministry of information, said the election was held “peacefully and successfully”. Abdul Malik added, “Results will be announced in collaboration with the election commission.”

Over 104 million people were registered to vote in the elections to choose 299 representatives to parliament, known as the Jatiya Sangsad. The Grand Alliance, led by the ruling Awami League (AL) party, is competing with the opposition alliance, led by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), in the country’s 11th general elections.

(With Agency inputs)