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US says Bangladesh elections not credible

January 6, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. says elections in Bangladesh that were marred by violence and an opposition boycott do not appear credible.

The party of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina easily won Sunday’s vote in which at least 18 people died. The opposition boycotted because Hasina refused its demands to step down and allow a neutral caretaker to oversee the elections.

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf on Monday expressed U.S. disappointment.

She said that with more than half of the seats uncontested and most of the remainder offering only token opposition, the results “do not appear to credibly express the will of the Bangladeshi people.”

Harf urged the government and opposition parties to hold immediate dialogue on holding fresh elections as soon as possible. She called on all sides to desist from violence.

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