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Opposition boycotts parliamentary oath

Bangladesh's main opposition party, which was routed in the recent general elections, said it would boycott Sunday's scheduled swearing-in of its members of the parliament.

world Updated: Jan 04, 2009 12:45 IST

Bangladesh's main opposition party, which was routed in the recent general elections, said it would boycott Sunday's scheduled swearing-in of its members of the parliament.

Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) spokesman Rizvi Ahmed said the party's 29 newly elected MPs would not attend the event, but declined to explain the decision.

Quddus Khan, a senior official at the national parliament, said the boycott would not affect the formation of the incoming government as Sheikh Hasina's Awami League party won a majority in Monday's elections.

The BNP's refusal came a day after Bangladesh's prime minister-elect Sheikh Hasina Wajed was sworn in along with all the Awami League MPs.

The BNP has conceded defeat in the elections but maintained that the polls, in which the Awami League won 230 out of a possible 300 seats, were rigged.

Held under tight security, the country's first vote since 2001 saw turnout of 87 percent and little of the unrest that forced the last planned vote to be cancelled and an army-backed administration take control for two years.

Independent observers, including a team from the European Union, have declared the election was free and fair.