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Britain Calls on Bangladesh to Lift Emergency Rule

  • VOA News

British leaders are calling on Bangladesh's military-backed interim government to lift emergency rule and begin the transition back to a democracy.

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband says he hopes the government will fulfill its promise to hold elections before the end of the year. Miliband made the remarks Saturday in Bangladesh's capital, Dhaka, as he concluded two days of talks with the country's top leaders.

Miliband also pushed for dialogue between the government and political parties.

Bangladeshi leaders have said the caretaker government is fully committed to holding elections and inviting opposition parties into the political process.

Bangladesh's emergency government took power in January 2007 following months of political violence that led to the postponement of elections. The interim administration has pledged to hold fresh polls, after cleaning up the country's notoriously corrupt politics.

At least 150 government officials, including two former prime ministers, have been rounded up on corruption charges since last year.

The interim government has also instituted a number of reforms including separating the judiciary from executive control.

US officials have also called for an end to the state of emergency in Bangladesh and the holding of elections.

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