Former Bangladeshi Prime Minister Khaleda Zia says her party will only take part in next month's elections if they are delayed by 10 days, and the country's state-of-emergency is lifted.
Zia's announcement came on Thursday after leaders of her Bangladeshi Nationalist Party (BNP) spent hours in talks with their allies to discuss whether to follow through on their threat to boycott the poll, which is scheduled for December 18th.
Bangladesh's interim government rejected an earlier demand for a postponement.The BNP said it will participate if the government moves the poll date to the 28th and immediately lifts the state of emergency that has been in place since January of 2007.
Bangladesh's caretaker government on Wednesday rejected the BNP's earlier demand to delay the vote, because it could not get agreement from the BNP's main rival, the Awami League, and its leader Sheikh Hasina who says she wants the poll to go ahead on schedule.
The Electoral Commission earlier said Wednesday was willing to postpone the vote by 10 days if both the BNP and the Awami League agreed to the measure. The elections are intended to restore democratic rule to Bangladesh nearly two years after the army intervened to end months of violence between supporters of the two parties. The military-backed interim government has said it wants to hold the election by the end of the year.