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Bangladesh to Hold General Elections

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Published on Sep 22, 2008

Over in Bangladesh, people may have a chance to elect a parliament after 2 years of waiting. Leaders of the Bangladeshi interim government announced on Saturday (September 20) that elections would take place on December 18. Heres' more:

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In a televised address to the nation, interim government leader Fakhruddin Ahmed said he believed the election would lead to the, quote, "restoration of a real democracy".

And that's something many residents have been waiting to hear.

[Nazarana Haq, Dhaka Resident]:
"For the last two years we have been under emergency law, now the government has given a date for national elections so we are very happy and hope there will be a free and fair elections."

Ahmed said the state of emergency, imposed in January 2007, was set be eased or lifted before the polls to allow free campaigning and the two major parties. But the BNP and Awami League still doubt the military-backed interim government's intentions.

[Saber Hossain Chowdhury, Bangladesh Awami League Party]:
"Now we have an important first step in that there is a firm date but we are equally concerned that the emergency, the state of emergency continues in Bangladesh because we feel that if an election is to be really free and fair then it is really important that the emergency is lifted."

Independent political analysts said the interim authority appears to have fulfilled a major commitment towards restoring democracy, but there are still doubts about its game plan.

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