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Bangladesh leaders close to pact on electoral reforms

Media reports said that the leaders were stuck on who should be the chief of the caretaker Govt which would oversee 2007 general polls.

india Updated: Oct 10, 2006 15:05 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

Bangladesh's major political alliances on Tuesday came close to an agreement on electoral reforms and exuded confidence that a final solution to the contentious issue would be thrashed out soon.

"We have discussed all issues," Local Government Minister Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan, who is also the secretary general of the ruling Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), told reporters at the end of one-hour fourth round of meeting on electoral reforms.

"I hope we will be successful," he said.

Abdul Jalil, general secretary of the main opposition Awami League said, "we are very close (to an agreement) on many issues and now we will report back to our leaders as well as alliance members."

"We have moved forward," Jalil told a TV channel.

Both leaders, who refused to divulge details, announced that they would meet again on October 16 at the National Parliament House to arrive carry forward the negotiations.

Media reports said the two sides were stuck on who should be the chief of the caretaker government which would oversee general elections scheduled for early 2007.

The talks are aimed at reaching an agreement on electoral reforms being pressed by the Opposition since July last year to ensure free, fair and transparent voting and is being held before the five-year term of Prime Minister Khaleda Zia ends on October 27.

Meanwhile, the BNP-led four-party Islamic alliance government today completed its five-year term in office.

Oppposition Awami League, led by former Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed, is observing the day as "Black Day."

First Published: Oct 10, 2006 15:05 IST