Interim Bangladesh government relaxes ban on political activities

May 13th, 2008 - 4:14 am ICT by admin  

Dhaka, May 13 (DPA) The military-backed interim government in Bangladesh Monday partially lifted the ban on political activities, allowing limited indoor meetings under a relaxed state of emergency. Regime head Fakhruddin Ahmed also announced plans to hold a crucial general election in the third week of December in a move expected to restore democracy in the Muslim country.

Fakhruddin as de facto prime minister decided to hold talks with political parties from May 22 on the staging of free and credible national polls.

In a nationwide address, the former central bank governor promised to lift the state of emergency, which restricts human rights before the parliamentary polls, to permit electioneering campaigns.

Fakhruddin urged politicians to abide strictly by the election laws and not indulge in any move encouraging street violence and destruction of government property.

The interim government was appointed by President Iajuddin Ahmad with the support of the army in January 2007 as a bitter standoff between two former premiers Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia pushed the impoverished country towards anarchy and escalating violence.

Both leaders, who are at the top of the two most powerful political clans in the country, are now facing corruption charges in special anti-graft courts.

Fakhruddin declared that he would put stress on measures to keep the vote free and credible during his talks with political parties including Hasina’s Awami League and Zia’s Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP).

The interim administration is preparing a national charter that will guide relations among communities across the country.

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