Bangladesh political parties prepare for showdown

Bangladesh`s two major political alliances prepared on yesterday for a show of strength in the national capital as their stand-off with the country`s interim government over electoral reforms continued.

Dhaka, Dec 18: Bangladesh's two major political
alliances prepared on yesterday for a show of strength in the
national capital as their stand-off with the country's interim
government over electoral reforms continued.

Former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia's Bangladesh
Nationalist Party-led four-party alliance and Ex-Premier
Sheikh Hasina Wajed's Awami League-led 14-party grouping are
set for a show of strength on Monday and day after through
"grand rallies" at Dhaka's Paltan Maidan venue.

Zia and Sheikh Hasina are set to outline their plans in
the coming weeks leading to general elections due January 23.

Official sources said President Iajuddin Ahmed's advisors
maintained contact with the divide but were yet to take any
firm move on ending the standoff.

Political analysts say a poll without the AL-led alliance
would bear no fruit and increase political unrest.

Sheikh Hasina has been demanding a "level playing field"
alleging Zia's BNP was seeking to overturn poll results, a
charge denied by her rival.

According to media reports the AL-led alliance is to
announce three conditions as pre-requisites for its
participation in the election - rescheduling of the election
after correction and publication of the updated voters list,
implementation of the package proposal offered by Ahmed's
caretaker government and purging the administration of
"partisan" officials.

The BNP-led alliance will announce a single condition for
its participation in the polls - holding of the election
within the stipulated 90 days.

Bureau Report

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