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Bangladeshi Electoral Talks Inconclusive

  • VOA
  • Amir Khasru

Bangladesh's government and one of the country's major parties have failed to resolve their differences on the country's upcoming election.

Officials with the military-backed interim government held talks today (Tuesday) with the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) of former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia.

The BNP has been calling for the government to lift emergency rule ahead of December's parliamentary election. Party officials also have threatened to boycott the poll if corruption charges are not dropped against Ms. Zia.

Both sides today said they needed more dialogue to resolve their differences, including agreeing on the conditions necessary to hold a free, fair and credible election.

The government is holding talks with a number of parties and groups ahead of the election, including Bangladesh's other major political party, the Awami League, led by former Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Ms. Zia's party also has said it will not participate in the poll, unless all graft charges are withdrawn.

Both former prime ministers were paroled for medical treatment earlier this year, after being detained on corruption charges for more than a year.

Bangladesh's military-backed interim government canceled planned general elections and imposed emergency rule in January 2007, following violent protests demanding electoral reforms.

The government then led an anti-corruption campaign, arresting several top politicians, including the former prime ministers. We have more from our Dhaka stringer Amir Khasru

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