Bangladesh opposition announces three-day blockade
Bangladesh`s main opposition Friday announced a 72-hour blockade from Saturday to press home its demand for a non-party caretaker government to oversee the Jan 5 national elections.
Dhaka: Bangladesh`s main opposition Friday announced a 72-hour blockade from Saturday to press home its demand for a non-party caretaker government to oversee the Jan 5 national elections.
Rizvi Ahmed, senior spokesperson of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), made the announcement of rail, road and waterway blockade, demanding a free and fair election under the caretaker polls-time government, Xinhua reported.
Former prime minister Khaleda Zia`s main opposition alliance has decided to enforce the shutdown to protest the government`s "conspiracy to hold a one-sided election", Ahmed said.
Earlier, the BNP-led opposition alliance observed a 71-hour countrywide blockade which ended Friday morning amid violent clashes, vandalism, arson and bomb explosions.
At least 24 people, including a paramilitary Border Guard Bangladesh soldier, were reportedly killed and hundreds others injured in stray incidents during the three-day blockade in Dhaka and elsewhere in the country.
Despite the opposition`s threat to boycott, the Bangladesh Election Commission announced last week that the country`s 10th parliamentary election will be held Jan 5 next year.
Khaleda Zia has asked Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to bring back the non-party caretaker system, or else the opposition won`t participate in the next election because it fears an election without the non-party caretaker government will not be free and fair.
Both parties are seeking dialogue to end the impasse over the formation of the polls-time government, but no headway has been made so far.
Bangladesh plunged into a major political crisis in late 2006 and returned to democracy after two years of army-backed rule following a widely acceptable parliament elections in 2008 under a caretaker government.