B'desh parties to hold sixth round of reforms talks | india | Hindustan Times
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B'desh parties to hold sixth round of reforms talks

india Updated: Oct 23, 2006 11:59 IST

Bangladesh's ruling and opposition parties were set to hold the sixth round of talks on the contentious issue of electoral reforms later on Monday even as security was beefed up at the residence of the caretaker government chief designate KM Hasan.

Extra police were deployed in and around Hasan's Dhanmandi residence with barbed wire fences on both sides of the road leading to his house.

Hasan would take up the challenging job of the caretaker government amid opposition warnings of all out nationwide demonstrations to paralyse Bangladesh, family sources were quoted as saying by the private UNB news agency.

"We all know about this debate obviously, there is no point of backing out" for Hasan to take the charge, the family source said.

The opposition alleges Hasan was a member of the ruling Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and its beneficiary, and thus constitutionally he is barred from taking the position.

"We want a fruitful end to the talks. If the talks fail then the prime minister has to take the responsibility of any consequences. I wonder why Hasan was so important for the government," Awami League leader Sheikh Hasina Wajed, who returned from the US today, told reporters at the airport.

Hasan has kept himself away from the media and some reports said he was preparing to take oath on October 28.

Two figures - Abdul Jalil, the general secretary of the main opposition Awami League and Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan, the secretary general of the ruling Bangladesh Nationalist Party -- are set to hold the sixth round of talks later on Monday to reach an agreement on electoral reforms.

The two parties have said they would take to the streets from October 27 -- the day Prime Minister Khaleda Zia's five-year term ends.

Bangladeshis have been appealing for peace and to avoid any confrontation or unrest.