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Thousands of Marchers Demand Bangladesh Election Reform


Thousands of anti-government marchers have staged a demonstration in the Bangladesh capital Dhaka to call for election reform. Witnesses and police say at least 20 thousand opposition activists turned out for the demonstration despite heavy rain. Several thousand police and units of the elite Rapid Action Battalion lined the demonstration route through old Dhaka but there were no reports of violence.

The demonstrators are demanding the resignation of the chief election commissioner M.A. Aziz. The 14-party alliance that organized the march claims Aziz is biased in favor of the current government, led by Prime Minister Khaleda Zia. The government is due to hand power in October to a non-partisan caretaker government. Elections are set for January. Saturday's demonstration was the fifth in a campaign of six marches, with the last one scheduled for Sunday.

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