Bangladesh polls: US expresses disappointment, condemns violence(pics)

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Washington, Jan 7: The US government on Monday expressed its disappointment over the recently concluded parliamentary elections in Bangladesh. The US also called for fresh and quick polls arranged through dialogue.

The election, which was held on Sunday, was boycotted by the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party and also, the polls was marred by violence which had left at least 21 people killed.

"The United States is disappointed by the recent parliamentary elections in Bangladesh," Xinhua quoted State Department spokesperson Marie Harf as saying in a statement.

"With more than half of the seats uncontested and most of the remainder offering only token opposition, the results of the just-concluded elections do not appear to credibly express the will of the Bangladeshi people," she said.

The opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party, led by former prime minister Khaleda Zia, and its 17 allies boycotted the elections which were held on Sunday, as the government headed by Sheikh Hasina had refused to let a caretaker government led by independents oversee the polls.

The opposition announced fresh strikes and called for abolition of the results, in which the ruling Bangladesh Awami League garnered 232 seats, more than enough to form a new government.

The US also condemned the violence in Bangladesh, saying "violence is not an acceptable element of the political process."

In Dhaka

Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina pauses as she speaks to the media during a press conference in Dhaka, Bangladesh

In Dhaka

A supporter of the ruling Bangladesh Awami League pelts stone during a clash with the supporters of the Bangladesh's main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party in Dhaka, Bangladesh

In Dhaka

A young Bangladeshi child walks past a passenger bus torched by opposition party supporters ahead of the general elections in Dhaka, Bangladesh

In Dhaka

Police escort a convoy of oil tankers during a 48-hour general strike called by the opposition to protest Sunday's election, in Dhaka, Bangladesh

In Dhaka

Bangladeshi opposition party activists beat a ruling Awami League party activist during a clash near a polling station in Rajshahi, northwest of Dhaka

In Dhaka

Bangladeshi policemen kick a suspect, following an attack on a polling station, in Bogra, north of Dhaka, Bangladesh, Sunday

In Dhaka

Bangladeshi people stand under election campaign posters outside a polling station after casting their votes in Dhaka, Bangladesh

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