Bangladesh electoral reforms talks to start on Oct 3 | india | Hindustan Times
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Bangladesh electoral reforms talks to start on Oct 3

india Updated: Oct 02, 2006 14:13 IST
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Talks between Bangladesh government and the Opposition on the contentious issue of electoral reforms are likely to begin on Tuesday, sources said in Dhaka on Monday.

"Most likely the talks are going to start from tomorrow," they said.

Local minister Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan, also the secretary general of the ruling Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), and main opposition Awami League MP, Abdul Jalil will sit across the table to thrash out Opposition proposals on electoral reforms.

The New Age daily reported that the talks would be held tomorrow at the State Guest House Padma.

Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, who had earlier brushed aside the reform proposals despite agitation from the Opposition, has agreed to it, maintaining that polls would be held "constitutionally".

Zia's arch rival Sheikh Hasina Wajed has claimed initial victory, saying agreeing to talks between the two second-in-commands and without the fundamentalist Jamat-e-Islami was its proof.

Smaller groups incluing the Jamaat have expressed skepticism about the talks which are being held apparently under pressure from the business and diplomatic communities.

The Awami League-led 14-party opposition alliance has warned it would not only boycott the polls unless the reforms were carried out but continue its campaign when the caretaker government takes charge next month after Zia's tenure ends.

The opposition had demanded that the chief of the caretaker government and chief election commissioner should be changed in order to hold free and fair polls in January.