Bangladesh election chief stands down

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Thursday, November 23, 2006

Flag of Bangladesh

The Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) of Bangladesh, Justice MA Aziz has agreed to step aside for three months, the country's president and chief advisor to caretaker government, Iajuddin Ahmed announced in a television address to the nation late last night.

The Awami League-led alliance accused Aziz of bias towards the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), led by former Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia, who ended her five-year term in October 2006.

President Ahmed said that Justice Aziz has agreed to go on leave for three months in order to untangle himself from the present crises over the 2007 parliamentary elections. The President has decided to appoint two more election commissioners under article 118(1) of the Bangladeshi constitution.

The alliance parties resumed their agitation against Justice Aziz for the third time on Monday and said that they would continue the indefinite stir until he quits the office.