Political parties differ on election timing
The BNP said it wanted the election held by July 11, six months after a state of emergency was declared.Updated:
Bangladesh's feuding political parties remained poles apart on Monday over the timing of a postponed general election.
The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), led by the most recent prime minister Begum Khaleda Zia, said it wanted the election held by July 11, six months after a state of emergency was declared.
But its rival the Awami League, led by Sheikh Hasina, Khaleda's predecessor in power, said the poll should be held by June.
The Awami League did not give a reason for the time of its choice, but analysts said it was probably to avoid the storm season that usually hits around late June or early July.
Both the BNP and Awami League conveyed their choices to the Election Commission, which said it could not start preparations for the vote until the army-backed interim government had set a date.
Bangladesh has been under a state of emergency since January 11 imposed following weeks of countrywide violence mostly between activists of the two parties.
The election, originally planned for January 22, was postponed amid political chaos.
All political activities -- except for indoor meetings -- are banned under the emergency rule. Since the rule was invoked, security forces have arrested more than 150 politicians, including former ministers.
First Published: Mar 05, 2007 14:55 IST