77 per cent of voters against Bangladesh election: poll

77 per cent of voters against Bangladesh election: poll
This combination picture shows Bangladeshi political leaders Khaleda Zia (L), chairperson of the BNP and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed.

DHAKA - More than three-quarters of Bangladeshis are opposed to this weekend's general election which is being boycotted by the main opposition, a poll showed Friday.

The survey in the Dhaka Tribune found 77 per cent of people believe Sunday's vote without the participation of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) would be "unacceptable" and only 41 per cent would vote.

The same poll found that 37 per cent of respondents would vote for the BNP if they had the chance, slightly ahead of the ruling Awami League.

In a televised address on Thursday, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina ruled out any prospect of the election being postponed and accused BNP leader Khaleda Zia of trying to hold the country hostage by organising a series of blockades designed to wreck the election.

The BNP and around 20 allies are all refusing to take part after Hasina refused to agree to their calls to stand aside and let an interim caretaker government organise the contest.

The stand-off has helped fuel a further round of political violence in a country which has experienced the bloodiest 12 months of unrest since independence.

More than 140 people have been killed in election-related violence since late October.

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