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Hasina extends deadline

Haroon Habib

Bangladesh President gets seven more days to prove his neutrality


  • Two advisers meet Hasina
  • Decision taken to make necessary changes in Election Commission

    DHAKA: The 14-party alliance leader, Sheikh Hasina, has given seven more days to Bangladesh President Iajuddin Ahmed to prove his neutrality.

    She declared that should the President, who took over reins of a non-party caretaker Government, fail, the suspended countrywide siege and blockade by the alliance would continue from November 12. Ms. Hasina, who first gave Mr. Ahmed, an ultimatum to prove his constitutional neutrality by November 3, was addressing a massive public meeting in the capital on Friday.

    The rally was organised to mark the anniversary of the historic 1975 Jail Killing Day, when four independence heroes including the first Bangladesh Prime Minister, Tajuddin Ahmed, who led the country's war of liberation against Pakistan in 1971, were killed inside the Dhaka Central Jail.

    "Please don't take our patience as weakness. If you fail to prove your neutrality as mandated by the Constitution, we will have no option but to enforce a nationwide indefinite siege and blockade to protect the people's right to vote and to hold a free, fair and credible election," she said.

    Political violence since October 27 claimed at least 30 lives and left thousands injured as Khaleda Zia's four-party alliance faced a fierce countrywide protest by Ms. Hasina's supporters.

    Dr. Ahmed and his council of advisers have unanimously decided to initiate changes in the Election Commission, led by Justice M.A. Aziz. The Khaleda-led alliance is opposed to his resignation, a major demand of the Hasina-led combine.

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