Police ban rallies around presidential house
The 14-party opposition alliance has planned a sit-in in front of the official house of President Ahmed, to demand electoral reforms.india Updated: Nov 27, 2006 12:11 IST
Police in the Bangladeshi capital were gearing up for a mass sit-in of opposition activists on Monday that was expected to go ahead despite a ban on all political demonstrations.
The 14-party opposition alliance has planned a sit-in on Monday in front of the Bangabhaban, the official house of President Iajuddin Ahmed, to demand electoral reforms.
Ahmed currently heads a caretaker government to oversee the elections through January.
The alliance led by Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina has demanded the removal of three election commissioners, accusing them of bias in favor of former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia. The officials have denied the allegations.
Zia completed her five-year term as prime minister on October 29. On Sunday, Tofail Ahmed, an alliance spokesman, told reporters that the sit-in would go ahead as planned, despite the police ban.
"We are fighting to ensure a free and fair election," he said. "The president must meet our demands to create a credible environment for the next elections."
Clashes between rival political activists left at least three people dead and dozens injured during the protest last week.
Bangladesh has a history of political violence. Two of its presidents were slain in military coups, and the country has been through 19 other failed coup attempts since its independence from Pakistan in 1971.