Acting President appears victorious in Bangladesh

Acting President Abdus Sattar has claimed overwhelming victory in Bangladesh's hotly contested presidential election, Monitor special correspondent Carol Honsa reports.

The results showed the country's commitment to the democratic process, but it was more the quiet election aftermath that marked a milestone for this country's still fragile democracy.

Unofficial tallies showed President Sattar ahead by more than 21/2 to 1 over his main opponent, Kamal Hossain of the Awami League.

The violent outbursts many had expected from frustrated Awami League supporters did not materialize Monday. Apprehensions had been heightened by early returns Sunday that showed perplexing Sattar majorities. Raised eyebrows receded as later returns steadily whittled down Mr. Sattar's lead.

Sattar has listed population control as the top priority for his impoverished country, now as densely populated as the United States would be if all the people in the world were crammed into it. Food production and the elimination of illiteracy are his other priorities.

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