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Bangladesh Officials: No Elections Until Late 2008


Bangladesh's Election Commission Thursday indicated already postponed national elections will not take place before late next year at the earliest.

Chief Election Commissioner A.T.M. Shamshul Huda told reporters it will take at least 18 months to prepare a complete list of eligible voters with their photographs.

A general election was to have taken place in January of this year.

But the military-backed interim government declared a state of emergency after opposition parties held a series of nationwide protests, calling for electoral reforms. Officials canceled elections and suspended all political activity.

The U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh, Patricia Butenis Tuesday urged interim leaders to set a new timetable for elections.

The interim government has said it will not hold a new poll until it cleans up voter fraud and widespread corruption in Bangladesh's political system. Dozens of senior politicians have been arrested on corruption charges.

Matiur Rahman Choudhury has more on the story.

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