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Pressure mounts on Bangladesh PM after walkover re-election

Published on Jan 7, 2014 12:52 PM
 
Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina speaks during a media conference in Dhaka on Jan 6, 2014. Bangladesh's opposition leader Khaleda Zia accused Ms Hasina of "murdering democracy" as her arch rival faced growing calls on Tuesday to hold fresh polls after a walkover election. -- PHOTO: REUTERS 

DHAKA (AFP) - Bangladesh's opposition leader Khaleda Zia accused Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of "murdering democracy" as her arch rival faced growing calls on Tuesday to hold fresh polls after a walkover election.

The United States led international pressure for a swift re-run that would include all the major parties, brushing aside Ms Hasina's insistence that a boycott by Ms Zia's opposition did not undermine her legitimacy.

Ms Zia, who has been confined to her home for about two weeks, reiterated her calls for the prime minister to stand aside and let a neutral caretaker government organise the new election.

"I'm calling on the government to cancel the farcical polls, step down and reach an understanding (with the opposition) to organise a free, fair and neutral election under a non-party government," she said in a statement released overnight.

 
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