Bangladesh authorities on Monday (Nov 12) announced they were delaying next month’s general election by a week following an appeal from the country’s opposition alliance, an official said. “The vote will now be held on Dec 30,” Election Commission spokesman S.M Asaduzzaman told AFP. The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) had protested the Dec 23 election date announced last week, saying more time was needed to prepare for the poll. The BNP – whose leader Khaleda Zia is behind bars – had asked for an extra month to campaign against Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
The prime minister, who is running for a third consecutive term in office, has been accused of cracking down on her opponents ahead of the poll, with thousands of BNP activists detained in recent months.
A party spokesman warned the opposition could reconsider its decision to contest the election if an even playing field was not assured.
“Our activists are still being arrested,” BNP spokesman Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said in Dhaka.