President Ziaur (zia) Rahman of Bangladesh has postponed elections for the new parliament from January the 27th to February the 12th.
President Ziaur (zia) Rahman of Bangladesh has postponed elections for the new parliament from January the 27th to February the 12th. But political parties have continued holding large rallies throughout the country. The delay came last month after twelve opposition parties united in a decision to boycott the elections unless the government agreed to certain conditions including the lifting of martial law and the freeing of political prisoners.
SYNOPSIS: President Zia opened his election campaign with a giant rally for supporters of his Bangladesh National Party (BNP). After three years leading a military government following the assassination of the nation's founding leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1975, Major-General Zia was elected president in a popular vote in June last year. At that time he said elections would be held and that they would b "absolutely fair". It was important to go to the people and he was anxious to do so, he said.
The chanting, applauding crowd showed apparent enthusiasm for President Zia's proposals for a return to democracy.
A 300 seat Parliament, he said, would be sovereign.
The main opposition party, the Awami League, also held a rally in Dacca. The League, under the leadership of Sheikh Mujibur, assumed office when Bangladesh became an independent nation in 1971. This followed the war and India's armed intervention which secured Bangladesh's independence from Pakistan. The Awami League President, Abdul Malek Ukil addressed the rally.
A giant picture of the party's founder, and the nation's Prime minister and then President, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, dominated. Along with other opposition parties, the Awami League has demanded that President Zia must relinquish his army posts and retire from active military service before taking part in the elections.