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Hasina's party and allies lead in Bangladesh election
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Bangladesh's former prime minister Sheikh Hasina's Awami League (AL) and its allies have got majority seats in the ninth parliamentary election held on Monday, according to latest primary results announced by the Election Commission early Tuesday.

The results updated at 5:30 a.m. local time (2330 GMT) showed that the AL-led 15-party grand alliance got 153 seats out of total 300 seats while AL alone grabbed 140 seats and Jatiya Party led by former president Hussain Muhammad Ershad got 12.

Private news agency UNB reported the 15-party grand alliance has won a landslide victory as its candidates were unofficially elected in over 233 seats and leading in most other constituencies.

On the other hand, Hasina's rival former prime minister Khaleda Zia's Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) got 14 seats while the BNP-led 4-party alliance got 15 totally.

Besides, two seats were taken by independent candidates and another three seats taken by other parties.

However, BNP has claimed that it got evidence of "huge irregularities, rigging and forgery" in the just-concluded parliamentary elections, UNB said.

Bangladesh's ninth parliamentary election was held on Monday for 299 out of total 300 seats of new parliament. The election to the other seat in southeastern Noakhali district will be held on Jan. 12 as one candidate died in a fire earlier December.

More than 1,500 candidates of 39 registered political parties as well as independent candidates were contesting. Any party that wins over half of the 300 parliament seats can pick a prime minister, who then selects the cabinet members.

AL-led grand alliance and BNP-Led 4-party alliance were key players in the election. AL and BNP were in power alternatively from 1991 to 2006.

(Xinhua News Agency December 30, 2008)

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