Bangladesh Prime Minister Khaleda Zia on Friday said she was ready to hand over power to a caretaker government to oversee the general elections due in January, even as the opposition announced a blockade of the capital once the transfer scheduled for Saturday happens.
Addressing the nation before handing over power to the non-party interim government headed by retired justice KM Hasan on Saturday, Hasina, who heads the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), said her four-party coalition will cooperate with the new government.
The opposition alliance led by Awami League (AL) is opposed to Hasan, who it alleges is a BNP supporter.
Talks on electoral reforms between the opposition and ruling coalitions had broken down and the opposition had vowed to take to the streets on Thursday despite a police ban on all public rallies.
According to Bangladesh's Constitution, the caretaker government is bound to hold new elections in 90 days.
But AL on Friday said it would launch an indefinite transport blockade of the capital when the caretaker government takes over.
The opposition will begin an indefinite siege programme to cut off communications with the rest of the country the moment the caretaker government takes over, AL Secretary General Abdul Jalil was quoted as saying by the agency.