A leader of Bangladesh's political opposition has angrily critized the interim government for its long delay in holding elections.
Former prime minister Sheikh Hasina of the Awami League told British radio electoral reforms are necessary, but that they should not be used as an excuse to indefinitely delay the vote.
On Thursday, Bangladesh's Election Commission indicated that the already postponed national elections will likely not be held before late 2008. Chief Election Commissioner A.T.M. Shamshul Huda told reporters it will take at least 18 months to create a complete list of eligible voters with their photographs.
Hasina on Saturday criticized the military-backed government, saying it should already have started such preparations.
A general election was to have take place in January of this year. But the interim government declared a state of emergency, canceled elections and suspended all political activity.
The state of emergency was declared after opposition parties held a series of nationwide protests, calling for electoral reforms.
The interim government has said it will not hold a new poll until it cleans up voter fraud and widespread corruption in Bangladesh's political system. Dozens of senior politicians have been arrested on corruption charges.