UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 7 (UPI) -- U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he would continue supporting democratic processes in Bangladesh but expressed outrage over election-related violence.
More than a dozen people were reported dead as a result of violence tied to Sunday's parliamentary elections in Bangladesh, the 10th since the country gained independence from Pakistan in 1971.
Ban issued a statement through his spokesman expressing dismay that violence undermined the political process in Bangladesh. He said violence and attacks on people seeking to express their democratic voice is never acceptable.
"The U.N. will continue to support the country's democratic processes in accordance with the principles of inclusiveness, non-violence, reconciliation and dialogue," his Monday statement read.
Last weekend, CNN reported police in Bangladesh fired tear gas at protesters who tried to attack polling stations. More than a dozen opposition parties, led by the Bangladesh National Party of former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, boycotted the weekend balloting.
U.S. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said Washington also was disappointed with the weekend parliamentary elections.
"With more than half of the seats uncontested and most of the remainder offering only token opposition, the results of the just-concluded elections do not appear to credibly express the will of the Bangladeshi people," she said in a statement Monday.