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Bangladesh Opposition Suspends Strike


Bangladesh's political opposition alliance says it will suspend a transportation strike that has paralyzed most of the country's cities since Sunday.

But the 14-party alliance says their strike could resume soon if their demands about election reforms are not met.

Earlier Wednesday, protesters marched through the streets of Dhaka and burned effigies of the government official whom they accuse of trying to rig parliamentary elections coming up in January.

Activists are demanding removal of M.A. Aziz, the chief election commissioner. They also want political reforms to safeguard future voting in the impoverished country.

Dhaka, the capital city, is cut off from most of the rest of the country, since protesters have enforced a ban on all forms of transportation.

Freight shipments have come to a halt and business leaders are warning the nation is on the brink of economic collapse.

The opposition alliance contends that election officials are plotting to rig the January vote in order to ensure that former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia and her Bangladesh Nationalist Party are returned to power. A caretaker government has been running the country since Mrs. Zia's five-year term of office ended last month.

The Awami League of Sheikh Hasina, another former prime minister, leads the opposition alliance.

Zahurul Alam has more on the story.

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