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Hasina looks set for power

An alliance led by Bangladesh's former prime minister Sheikh Hasina has taken an early lead in unofficial results from yesterday's parliamentary polls, election officials said.

Ms Hasina's alliance had won 50 out of 65 seats so far in the 300-seat parliament and was ahead of an alliance led by Begum Khaleda Zia, another former prime minister, in many other constituencies.

The vote aimed to return Bangladesh to democracy after two years of emergency rule imposed by an army-backed government. For the most part the election avoided the problems of the previous polls, which were marred by violence and accusations of vote-rigging. "The election ended in a very peaceful environment," Taleya Rehman, of the monitoring group Democracy Watch, said. Reuters