Awami League may join polls in Bangladesh

Sheikh Hasina Wajed's Awami League said it would take part in the upcoming elections in Bangladesh subject to some conditions.

india Updated: Dec 15, 2006 11:56 IST

Former Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed's Awami League has taken a step forward to end the long political standoff in Bangladesh, saying it would take part in the upcoming general elections subject to some conditions.

Announcing the party decision after a meeting of its parliamentary board last night, Abdul Jalil, the AL General Secretary, said the party would join the polls only if their demands, including the amendment of the poll schedule, was met by the caretaker government of President Iajuddin Ahmed.

"We want to participate in the election as it is the democratic way to form and change a government," he told reporters in the party's first comments signalling interest in taking part in the polls now scheduled for January 23.

Jalil said however, "it will not be easy to join the elections according to the present schedule."

Sheikh Hasina has asked party leaders and workers to prepare for elections while also holding street protests to force the government implement its proposals.

The AL-led 14-party alliance on Thursday said it would group up with like-minded parties and hold a "grand rally" here on December 18.

The League and its allies want polling day to be put back, while ex-Prime Minister Khaleda Zia's Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) wants no further delay in holding the elections.

First Published: Dec 15, 2006 11:56 IST