08/05/2008, 00.00
BANGLADESH
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Awami Leagues sweeps to victory in local elections

Early projections indicate a victory by the party of former Prime Minister Hasina in all four city corporations and eight municipalities out of nine. Voting went well and without incidents despite the state of emergency in place across the country.
Dhaka (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Early unofficial results suggest that former PM Sheikh Hasina’s Awami League swept all four city corporations and eight of the nine municipalities that went to the polls. Ms Hasina is currently in the United States for medical treatment after being released from prison.

Yesterday’s poll was the first since a state of emergency was declared in January 2007 and is seen as a test before next December’s general elections.

Everything went smoothly without violence despite concerns expressed by the main parties, the Awami League and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, which claimed that regular elections were impossible.

Monday's voting took place in the cities of Sylhet, Khulna, Barisal and Rajshahi—with some 1.2 million voters called to cast their ballots.

Among the winners was Badruddin Ahmed Kamran in the north-eastern city of Sylhet, who had contested Monday's election for the mayor’s post from jail.

The “huge public interest in casting votes under the state of emergency has proved that people want a democratic government elected through a free, fair, transparent and acceptable election,” Hasina said through her press secretary.

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