Elec­tion to pro­ceed with op­po­si­tion leader in prison

The Washington Times Daily - - WORLD -

DHAKA | Bangladesh’s Elec­tion Com­mis­sion an­nounced Thurs­day that the next na­tional elec­tion will be held Dec. 23 de­spite the im­pris­on­ment of the leader of the main op­po­si­tion party and the ban­ning of its chief part­ner.

Prime Min­is­ter Sheikh Hasina Wazed will head an elec­tion-time gov­ern­ment, as pro­vided for in the con­sti­tu­tion. The op­po­si­tion has de­manded an in­de­pen­dent care­taker ad­min­is­tra­tion, say­ing the elec­tion could be rigged un­der Sheikh Hasina.

Sheikh Hasina’s archri­val, for­mer Prime Min­is­ter Khaleda Zia, is in jail on cor­rup­tion charges. It is un­cer­tain whether her Bangladesh Na­tion­al­ist Party will par­tic­i­pate in the polls.

Ms. Zia, 73, has been in prison since Fe­bru­ary, when she was sen­tenced to five years for cor­rup­tion in the es­tab­lish­ment of an or­phan­age fund dur­ing her first term as prime min­is­ter in early 1990s.

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