South Asia

Bangladesh holds general election amid opposition boycott, violence

Bangladeshis went to the polls Sunday in a national general election overshadowed by a boycott from the main opposition party and pre-vote violence.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is poised for a fourth consecutive term, and her fifth overall, leading the Awami League alliance.

The polls opened at 8 a.m. (0200 GMT) and were scheduled to close at 4 p.m. (1000 GMT), with vote counting to follow. Initial results are expected early Monday.

Despite the chilly, foggy winter morning, voter turnout appeared low.

Human rights organizations have expressed concerns that Bangladesh, with a population of 170 million, is moving towards de facto one-party governance following the boycott by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and several smaller allies.