অ্যাকসেসিবিলিটি লিংক

Bangladesh Declines To Delay Election

  • VOA

The interim government in Bangladesh says it will not delay next month's general election despite threats of a boycott by one of the country's main political parties.

Government officials on Wednesday said two days of crisis talks with both of the leading parties had failed to produce an agreement, and so the elections will go ahead on schedule on December 18th.

A spokesman Khondokar Delwar Hossain for the Bangladesh Nationalist Party condemned the decision. He said the BNP will meet with its coalition partners Thursday and decide whether to follow through on its threat to boycott the poll.

In a related development, the Electoral Commission pushed back the deadline for candidates to register until Sunday. It had been set for Thursday, and the change is seen as giving all sides a few more days to try to reach a deal.

The BNP, led by former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, wants the military-backed government to lift the state of emergency that has been in place since January 2007 before holding the election.

But its main rival, the Awami League, and its leader, Sheikh Hasina, want the poll to go ahead as scheduled.

The fierce personal and political rivalry between Ms. Zia and Ms. Hasina has lasted for some 17 years. The two women have alternated terms as Bangladesh's prime minister until last year, when the army intervened to stop political violence between supporters of the Awami League and the BNP.

The December 18th elections are part of the interim government's plan to restore democracy.

Earlier this month, the interim government relaxed provisions of emergency rule to allow limited campaigning. But it later said political rallies would continue to be banned until three weeks before the poll.

A detailed report by our Dhaka stringer , Amir Khasru

XS
SM
MD
LG