Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina cast her vote in an election that the main opposition party boycotted. The ruling Awami League-led alliance is expected to win a fourth term in power. There were no reports of violence on voting day, and nearly 800,000 security forces guarded polling booths. Rights groups warned that the country could be headed for one-party rule. The United States and Western nations called for a free and fair election.

About 120 million voters will choose from nearly 2,000 candidates for 300 parliamentary seats. Voter turnout started low but increased throughout the day. Many people expressed support for Hasina’s party.

The BNP boycotted the 2014 election and called for a nationwide strike. Hasina refused BNP demands and accused the opposition of instigating protests. In her 15 years in power, Hasina has been credited with improving Bangladesh’s economy, but critics have accused her of authoritarianism and human rights violations.

The economy has slowed, and Bangladesh needed a bailout from the International Monetary Fund.

The election results are expected early on Monday.

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By hassani

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