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B'desh polls on Dec 29: CEC

The parliamentary elections in Bangladesh that was set for December 18 would be held on December 29 in line with demands of former premier Khaleda Zia's party, which had threatened to boycott the polls.

world Updated: Nov 23, 2008 21:17 IST

The parliamentary elections in Bangladesh that was set for December 18 would be held on December 29 in line with demands of former premier Khaleda Zia's party, which had threatened to boycott the polls.

After discussions with the main political parties, Bangladesh's Chief Election Commissioner ATM Shamsul Huda on Sunday announced that the parliamentary elections, which would return democracy to the country, will be held on December 29.

"The ninth parliamentary elections will be held on December 29," Huda said.

"We hope this new schedule will be accepted by the country's political parties. And they will start (their) election campaign in a festive mood from tomorrow," the CEC said.

According to the redrawn schedule, the last date for filing nomination papers for the landmark election has been set for November 30, with deadline for withdrawal of nomination on December 11. Nomination papers will be scrutinised on December 3 and 4.

The latest move is seen as a compromise to ensure that all major political parties participate and the polls are perceived as credible.

The delay in the polls was decided after as Zias Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) agreed to join the elections provided the date was deferred by 10 days.

It also wants the caretaker government to lift a state of emergency that has been in place for almost two years.

"The Election Commission has told us that it would recommend the government to lift the emergency after last date for withdrawal of nominations," BNP Vice-president MK Anwar was quoted saying by The Daily Star newspaper.

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