WASHINGTON, Jan 7 � Pressure mounted on Bangladesh with the international community led by the US expressing �disappointment� over the credibility of the elections marred by opposition boycott and deadly violence that gave a walkover to the ruling Awami League, reports PTI.
Premier Sheikh Hasina�s Awami League emerged as the strongest party with 232 seats in the 300-seat Parliament it won in the January 5 controversial polls, which were boycotted by the BNP-led 18-party opposition alliance.
�We have been very clear about our strong concerns about the elections and what we think the way forward should be. We believe Bangladesh still has an opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to democracy by organising free and fair elections that are credible in the eyes of the Bangladeshi people,� State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf said.
�We did note that we were disappointed by the recent parliamentary elections, especially because so many of the seats were uncontested or only had token opposition. Obviously, we believe going forward things should be done very differently,� she told reporters yesterday.
The opposition alliance led by former Premier Khaleda Zia boycotted the polls marred by a low turnout and violence, which claimed nearly 30 lives since Saturday. Zia claimed that the people had rejected the �one-sided and stage-managed polls�.
The UN also joined the international condemnation with its chief Ban Ki-moon calling for the two major parties - the Awami League and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) - �to resume meaningful dialogue� urgently �for an inclusive political process�.
He expressed sadness at the loss of life and said: �The UN will continue to support the country�s democratic processes in accordance with the principles of inclusiveness, non-violence, reconciliation and dialogue.�