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Bangladesh's main ruling and opposition parties discuss election reforms

Bangladesh's main ruling and opposition parties discuss election reforms

Senior leaders from Bangladesh's main ruling and opposition parties started talks Thursday on election reforms, amid opposition threats to boycott an upcoming general election.
The government last week offered to hold talks with the opposition following a series of violent anti-government protests and general strikes over the issue in recent months.
A 14-party opposition alliance, led by the Awami League, has threatened to boycott the January elections unless Chief Election Commissioner M.A. Aziz and his three deputies are replaced. The opposition parties say they are biased toward Prime Minister Khaleda Zia's four-party ruling coalition.
Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan, a senior minister and secretary general of the ruling Bangladesh Nationalist Party, met with Abdul Jalil, general secretary of the opposition Awami League at the Parliament building in the capital, Dhaka.
Television footage showed the two leaders shake hands at the start of the talks at a conference room of the building.
"We look forward to an end to the political deadlock," Shamsur Rahman, a lawmaker from the Awami League told The Associated Press.
The election commissioners have denied the opposition allegations of bias and have refused to resign.
The opposition also wants a say in who heads a caretaker administration that will conduct the elections after Zia constitutionally hands over power on Oct. 28.


Updated : 2021-07-26 03:14 GMT+08:00