Bangladesh says it’s ‘ready’ for Dec 18 polls

November 15th, 2008 - 6:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, Nov 15 (DPA) Bangladesh’s military-backed interim government said Saturday all preparations were done for the Dec 18 elections to restore the country to democracy.”The entire nation is now ready for the democratic transition through the Dec 18 elections to be participated by all the parties,” an adviser to the interim administration, Hossain Zillur Rahman, told a news briefing.

The government considers further relaxation of the state of emergency once the deadline for nomination paper submission expires Nov 20, he said.

“The government will consider complete lifting the state of emergency if the election environment develops smoothly,” Zillur said.

The government registered voters with photographs and held a series of dialogues with political parties and civic actors to prepare for the general elections, which were originally scheduled for Jan 22, 2007.

It was postponed following the state of emergency declared in early January in the wake of political violence.

The emergency government led by Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed detained over 200 political leaders, including the country’s two former prime ministers, Khaleda Zia of Bangladesh Nationalist Party and Sheikh Hasina of Awami League, on charges of corruption.

Most of the politicians are now released on bail ahead of the polls.

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