Voting in Bangladesh’s general election got underway on Sunday in a contest boycotted by the main opposition, marred by violence that has killed more than 100 people and shunned by international observers.
The opposition and its allies had demanded Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina step down and appoint a neutral caretaker administration to oversee the election.
But Hasina refused, and with fewer than half of the 300 parliamentary seats being contested, her ruling Awami League is poised to sweep to victory.
In recent weeks, much of the capital, Dhaka, has been cut off from the rest of the country as the opposition presses its demands through general strikes and transportation blockades.
Washington is disappointed the major political parties had not reached consensus on how to hold free, fair, and credible elections before Sunday’s vote, which threatens to plunge Bangladesh even deeper into crisis.