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Ruling Party Wins Bangladesh Poll Marred By Boycott, Violence

At least 18 people died in the run-up to Bangladesh's parliamentary elections. (file photo)
Preliminary results show that Bangladesh's ruling party is leading with 232 seats in general elections that have been marred by violence and boycotted by the opposition.

The outcome of the poll on January 5 was never in doubt as candidates or allies of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's Awami League ran unopposed in 153 of the 300 constituencies.

At least 18 people died in election-day violence, which saw more than 200 polling stations set on fire or damaged by supporters of opposition parties.

Dozens have died in the run-up to the election.

The election was also marred by a poor turnout.

The opposition boycotted the vote after Hasina rejected demands to step down and appoint a neutral caretaker administration to oversee the poll, as in previous elections.

Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, and AFP