The centrist party of Khaleda Zia, the widow of an assassinated president, Thursday emerged as the largest winner in national elections but fell short of the majority needed to govern alone.

The rival Awami League claimed vote fraud in at least two districts and asked for new polling there.The results from Wednesday's elections prevent any party from forming a government without the support of other political groups.

The elections mark the first democratic transition of power since Bangladesh gained independence from Pakistan in 1971. All the previous nine governments took charge following coups or assassinations.