Govt offers talks with Oppn on election reforms
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Govt offers talks with Oppn on election reforms

A 14-party opposition alliance recently staged a series of violent anti-Govt protests to press for election reforms in Bangladesh.

india Updated: Sep 29, 2006 15:14 IST
Associated Press
Associated Press

The government on Friday offered to hold talks with the opposition to discuss election reforms ahead of next year's general election, news reports said.

Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan, secretary general of ruling Bangladesh Nationalist Party, called Abdul Jalil, general secretary of main opposition Awami League, proposing the dialogue, private television stations ATN Bangla reported.

Bhuiyan and Jalil are scheduled to hold separate news conferences late Friday to provide details, the reports said. Officials of the two parties were not immediately available for comment.

A 14-party opposition alliance, led by the Awami League, has recently staged a series of violent anti-government protests, including general strikes, to press for election reforms.

The alliance has been demanding the removal of four election commissioners, saying they are biased toward Prime Minister Khaleda Zia's four-party ruling coalition.

The commissioners have denied the allegation and refused to resign.

The alliance also wants to play a role in choosing the head of a caretaker administration that will conduct the elections after Zia constitutionally hands over power on October 28.

The country's last retired chief justice KM Hasan is constitutionally set to become the head of the non-partisan caretaker administration and supervise the polls due in January.

The Opposition has opposed Hasan saying he once belonged to Zia's party and he may not remain neutral.

First Published: Sep 29, 2006 15:14 IST