Opposition parties in Bangladesh have called for a boycott of parliament's opening session today (Sunday) to protest a government proposal to grant amnesty to soldiers involved in an anti-crime crackdown.
Awami League leaders said the proposal violates the country's constitution. Human rights groups also have objected to granting amnesty to those involved in the three-month crackdown that reportedly left at least 40 people dead.
Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, who ordered the crackdown, approved the amnesty earlier this month. President Iajuddin Ahmed immediately signed the ordinance. The measure is expected to win approval in parliament, where the prime minister and her allies hold a two-thirds majority.
Meanwhile, another person reportedly has died in election-related violence as 63 local councils in Bangladesh held a second day of balloting Sunday. Witnesses said a man died of injuries received Saturday during a clash in Munshiganj, some 30 kilometers south of Dkaha. Local police said one man died during the clash, but could not confirm the second death on Sunday.