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  HOME | World (Click here for more)

Bangladesh to Hold General Election at End of Year

DHAKA – Bangladesh’s election commission said on Thursday a general election would be held on Dec. 23.

Chief election commissioner, KM Nurul Huda, made the announcement in a televised address to the nation at a time of deep political polarization in the country, while the leader of the opposition was serving a prison sentence.

“I urge the political parties to solve if any differences they had politically. I urge each political party for tolerant, respectful and political behaviors towards each others,” Huda said.

Candidates would be able to put forward their nomination papers between Nov. 19-29.

“I expect a competitive election with the participation of each political party,” he added.

A number of parties, including the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party boycotted the 2014 general election, while the ruling Awami League took more than half of the seats and formed a government for a second consecutive term.

The announcement of the election coincided with the transfer of opposition leader and former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia back to jail from a hospital where she had been staying since Oct. 6.

Hospital authorities said Zia’s condition was stable and so she was released. She was serving a 17-year sentence for corruption.

The BNP and the Awami League have taken turns in power since 1991, except for a brief period of military rule between 2006-2008.

 

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