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    Bangladesh's Hasina and Allies Sworn in as MPs

    The head of Bangladesh's Awami League, former Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, was sworn in as a member of parliament Saturday and elected leader of the house - the final steps before she is sworn in again as prime minister on Tuesday. She previously held the post from 1996 to 2001.

    Outgoing speaker Jamiruddin Sircar led Saturday's swearing-in ceremony. Ms. Hasina took oath along with more than 250 other lawmakers, including about 230 members of her own party. Others came from allied parties.

    The Awami League's coalition won a broad majority of the 300 seats in parliament on Monday in Bangladesh's first parliamentary election in seven years.

    The opposition, led by former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, has conceded defeat, though its members allege the vote was rigged. International observers have declared the election free and fair.

    Opposition members are scheduled to take their oaths of office on Sunday.

    Ms. Hasina has said she is prepared to offer senior political posts to the opposition in exchange for their cooperation.

    Bangladesh canceled its last scheduled election in 2007 due to political turmoil and violence. An army-backed interim government has ruled the country since then.

     

    Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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