Sheikh Hasina, 76, will remain in power for a fifth term (Reuters)

Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, 76, has won a fifth term in power after legislative elections boycotted by the main opposition party as a "sham election".

A spokesman for the National Electoral Commission said on Sunday that Sheikh Hasina's ruling Awami League party had "won more than 50 percent of the seats", while the counting process was ongoing.

Bangladesh, which is the world's eighth most populous country (about 170 million people), has seen strong economic growth under the leadership of Hasina's Awami League party, according to AFP, adding that the government has faced accusations of multiple human rights abuses and violent repression of dissent.

The Awami League faces almost no opponents in the constituencies in which it competes, but has refrained from nominating candidates in a number of them, trying to avoid parliament being a single-party tool.

The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), which has seen widespread arrests, has called for a general strike over the weekend, urging residents not to take part in what it described as "sham" elections.

AFP quoted observers as saying initial reports pointed to a low turnout of around 40%.

Source: French