DHAKA, Bangladesh - Former Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's political alliance won a landslide victory in elections aimed at restoring democracy to the troubled South Asian nation, an official said early today.
But even before the tally was complete, Hasina's opponents launched allegations of irregularities and forgery - leading some to wonder if the election would be able to end a cycle of unrest that has made the country virtually ungovernable.
Election official Humayun Kabir said Hasina's alliance won a two-thirds majority in Parliament.The party led by former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia said it would make a formal comment on the result later today.
The voting marks the country's first election in seven years, but with no fresh faces - and with both leading candidates facing corruption charges - many fear the vote will just mean a return to the corruption, mismanagement and paralyzing protests of earlier attempts at democracy.
Hasina and archrival Zia are heirs to Bangladeshi political dynasties and fixtures on the political scene. Zia was elected prime minister in 1991, Hasina in 1996, and Zia again in 2001.