Awami League alliance issues 7-day ultimatum

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Dhaka, Nov 3: Bangladesh Awami League president Sheikh Hasina today issued seven days' ultimatum afresh to meet her 11-point demand including recasting of the Election Commission by ousting the incumbent Chief Election Commissioner for free and fair parliamentary elections.

Hasina also the leader of the 14-party alliance called for non-stop siege across the country from November 12 if the demands are not met by President and Chief Advisor Professor Iajuddin Ahmed's caretaker government.

"Take effective steps to meet our demands within next seven days, otherwise non-stop siege will be enforced," she told the caretaker government from a public rally at Paltan Maidan here this afternoon.

The Awami League chief said the President sent two Advisors to her last night seeking time to recast the election commission for ensuring free and fair elections. Extending the ultimatum time for the caretaker government, Hasina said the government must prove its neutrality and take actions meeting the 11-point demand.

"We want free and fair elections so people could cast their votes to choose their representatives," she said.

Hasina criticized President Ahmed for assuming the office of the Chief Advisor and taking so much responsibility of 11 ministries and divisions. She asked the President to allocate the ministries relating to elections to Advisors so they could work for free and fair elections.

The Awami League leader also demanded transparent ballot boxes, updating voter list with identity cards and exclusion of 1.40 crore fake voters from the list.

Bringing charges of massive corruption against former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia's family and BNP Ministers and MPs, Hasina ] demanded publication of White Papers on five-year rule of the 4-party coalition government, inquiry into siphoning of money and initiating steps so that honest and competent people could be elected to parliament.

The non-party caretaker government headed by President Iajuddin Ahmed assumed the office on October 29 to oversee the general elections in January 2007.


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