30 Dec 2008

Alliance surges to Bangladesh election win

9:43 pm on 30 December 2008

Bangladesh's former premier, Sheikh Hasina Wajed, has won the country's first election since 2001 in a landslide.

The election commission said on Tuesday that Sheikh Hasina's Awami League party had won 229 of the 295 seats in parliament counted so far, giving her an overwhelming win in Monday's vote. Just a handful of results were still to be tallied.

Her rival Khaleda Zia's Bangladesh Nationalist Party, which won the last election in 2001 by a huge margin, garnered only 27 seats in the ballot. Ms Khaleda is another former prime minister and the two women alternated in power for 15 years up to 2006.

The election has ended two years of emergency rule by an army-backed caretaker government. More than 11 million phoney names were purged from the voter roll.