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Bangladesh's Former Opposition Alliance to Boycott Elections


A major political alliance in Bangladesh says it will boycott January 22nd elections, charging the caretaker government with bias.

The powerful 14-party alliance led by the Awami League accused the interim government of favoring the former ruling Bangladesh Nationalist Party.

Awami League leader Sheikh Hasina also said the head of the interim government, President Iajuddin Ahmed, has failed to ensure free and fair polls.

The Bangladesh Nationalist Party says the Awami League is trying to sabotage the vote and says it will take part in the elections despite the boycott.

Just last month, the Awami League announced it would take part in the elections after the caretaker administration agreed to some electoral reforms. But the Awami League says their demands have not yet been implemented.

The interim government has agreed to correct a disputed voter list and replace some officials in the election commission.

The Awami League has staged a series of transportation blockades and street protests that have turned violent in the run-up to the balloting. Another transportation blockade is scheduled for Sunday and Monday.

Amir Khasru has more on the story.

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