Further delay for Bangladesh poll

Postponed elections may not take place until next year as new voter list is drawn up.

    Elections were postponed after at least 45 people were killed in weeks of violent protests [EPA]
    "We really can't rush."
     
    The election commission has said it is prepared to hold the next election without insisting on voter identity cards, in order not to delay it further but voters' photographs would be attached to their names on the electoral roll to prevent fraud.

    Identity cards

    The commission said, however, that in order to ensure future elections were transparent and credible, it would ask the government to issue identity cards to all citizens.

    More than 90 million of Bangladesh's population of 140 million were registered as eligible to vote in the election that was originally set for January 22 but postponed after 45 people were killed and hundreds injured in countrywide violence.

    Many local and international election observers have said there were thousands of fake entries on the original voters' list.

    The interim administration has insisted that no election should be held until widespread corruption is eliminated from Bangladeshi politics and critical reforms implemented to ensure a free election.
       
    A widespread anti-corruption crackdown has been launched and more than 160 senior political figures, mostly the Bangladesh National party and the opposition Awami League, have been detained.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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