BANGKOK (Reuters) – The country’s new prime minister is being congratulated by thousands of supporters in a street in southern Bangladesh after he became the first Muslim prime minister in the world to win a landslide election in a poll dominated by anti-government sentiment.
The results of the Bangladesh National Election Commission’s (BNEC) new national flag contest on Saturday evening showed that the conservative Awami League won the most votes with about 76 percent of the total votes cast.
That leaves the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) and the ruling Islamist party with a combined total of 45 percent.
The new flag was designed by a group of local designers and is the result of a joint effort by the three main political parties to promote a modern, democratic and inclusive Bangladesh, said the BNEC chief executive, M.D. Ayub Khan.
The vote was dominated by nationalist sentiment and was largely anti-foreign, he said.
The United Progressive Front (UPRF) received more than 60 percent of all votes cast, but only 29 percent of seats in parliament.
The BNec said the UPRF received more votes than any other political party.
The UPRG, the country’s largest opposition party, received more support from its supporters than from the two main opposition parties.
“The result has been a shock to everyone.
It has given Bangladesh the first time in its history that a Muslim prime minster has been elected.
The people of Bangladesh have been dreaming of a country where Muslims are represented in politics, but this is the first such victory,” Ayub said.
The results will be announced on Sunday.