Feuding parties offered compromise package | india | Hindustan Times
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Feuding parties offered compromise package

india Updated: Dec 04, 2006 17:30 IST

Bangladesh's caretaker government appeared upbeat about ending the long political stand-off after coming out with a "compromise package" even as the crippling transport blockade by the 14-party alliance to press for electoral reforms continued for the second day on Monday.

Three members of President Iajuddin Ahmed's cabinet held talks with Bangladesh Nationalist Party leader Khaleda Zia and Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina Wajed, who is leading the 14-party alliance, and presented the package late on Sunday evening.

Appearing upbeat after the talks, Information Advisor Mahbubul Alam said the leaders' response was "positive".

He said they discussed matters relating to the general elections, due in January, and the Election Commission, but refused to give further details.

The caretaker government headed by President Iajuddin came out with the "package" after a six-hour cabinet meeting as the renewed transport blockade by the Awami League-led alliance turned violent, leaving one person dead and 200 injured on Sunday.

Media reports on Monday said the meeting discussed replacing two controversial Election Commissioners, rescheduling the election plan, keeping January 21 as the voting day and some major administrative reshuffle.

The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) welcomed the move, while Awami League (AL) continued with its pressure tactics by refusing to end the transport blockade and said it was waiting for a "post-talks" feedback from caretaker government.

Three members of Ahmed's advisory council held talks late yesterday with former Prime Ministers Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina Wajed on a package plan to end the impasse hours after a marathon cabinet meeting.

Information Advisor Mahbubul Alam said the response of both leaders was "positive."

The leaders are understood to have discussed the thorny issues of replacing two controversial election commissioners, rescheduling the election plan keeping January 21 as the voting day and some major administrative reshuffle.

Sheikh Hasina's Awami League kept up pressure on the government with the enforcement of the transport blockade that entered its second day today.

Pickets were back on the streets today amid marches and rallies by political leaders.

Traffic was thin and only vehicles carrying school children, Hajj pilgrims, media and patients were allowed to move freely.

Most shops, schools and private offices were either shut or worked with skeletal staff.

Security was tight across the country with President Ahmed warning that he would use "all constitutional means" to protect democracy if his initiatives to end the standoff did not yield results paving the way for the January 21 parliamentary elections.

Ahmed's 10 advisors were expected to meet again today to find a middlepath after talks with the top leaders of the divide.