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Bangladesh opposition calls another three-day blockade

Thursday, 5 December 2013 - 8:15pm IST | Place: DHAKA | Agency: IANS

Bangladesh's main opposition Thursday called another round of non-stop 72-hour nationwide blockade from Saturday morning to press its demand for a non-party caretaker government ahead of parliamentary elections.

Salahuddin Ahmed, spokesperson of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), made the announcement of rail, road and waterway blockade through a video message sent from an unspecified location.

The announcement of the fresh blockade came hours before the end of the ongoing 131-hour non-stop blockade, which was to expire 5 pm on Thursday.

Bangladesh's main opposition has been pushing for the postponement of the general election scheduled Jan 5.

No poll aspirant from former prime minister Khaleda Zia-led BNP and its 17 allies, including the key Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami party has submitted nomination papers. The deadline for submission of nomination papers was Dec 2.

Former Bangladesh president HM Ershad, chairman of the Jatiya Party, which was a key ally of Hasina's ruling Awami League party, also directed his party leaders to withdraw their nominations.

Ershad Tuesday announced that his party will not take part in the elections and cited the lack of proper atmosphere as the reason behind his decision.

Khaleda Zia had earlier asked Hasina to bring back a non-party caretaker system, or else the opposition won't participate in the next election because it fears an election without the non-party caretaker government will not be free and fair.

Nearly 40 people have been killed in the recent violence during the opposition programmes across Bangladesh.

Stray incidents of violence were reported from many places in the country Thursday.

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