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Last Updated: Friday, 3 November 2006, 17:17 GMT
B'desh opposition renews deadline
Roland Buerk
BBC News, Dhaka

Sheik Hasina Wajid at Nov 3, 2006 rally in Dhaka
Awami League chief, Hasina Wajid, announces extension in deadline
The former opposition in Bangladesh has given the country's interim government another week to update voters' lists and replace the election commissioner.

The Awami League party had given the government until Friday to fulfil these demands and prove its neutrality.

It has now threatened to resume protests if its demands are not met over the next week.

The president took over the interim administration after the main parties failed to agree on another candidate.

The Awami League's new deadline was announced at a rally in the centre of Dhaka which was attended by about 100,000 party supporters.

The former opposition parties have 11 demands, including the updating of voter lists with photographs.

Temporary cabinet

But their main concern is that the chief election commissioner, MA Aziz, and his deputies, are replaced.

They believe the election commission officials are biased towards the BNP, the party of former prime minister Khaleda Zia.

Bangladeshi opposition activist in Dhaka
Riots broke out following disagreement over interim head

The president in Bangladesh normally plays a figurehead role. But President Iajuddin Ahmed took over the interim administration after disagreement between the political parties over a consensus candidate led to serious rioting.

Mr Ahmed has appointed a temporary cabinet, including a newspaper editor, a former school head teacher and a human rights lawyer.

Their task is to try to ensure the election expected in January would be free and fair.

Already, senior police officers and civil servants have been reshuffled.

In another development, HM Ershad, who ruled Bangladesh until 1990 as a military dictator, has said his Jatiya party will join an alliance led by former prime minister Khaleda Zia.

In the dying days of Mrs Zia's term in office, he was cleared in a number of corruption cases.

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