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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 November 2006, 16:04 GMT
Bangladesh alliance stops protest
The Awami League say they have won a significant victory

The 14-party political alliance led by the Awami League party in Bangladesh has suspended its countrywide blockade.

The blockade stopped transport from travelling between roads and cities.

In a press conference, the alliance leader and Awami League President, Sheikh Hasina, said that the programme would be suspended indefinitely.

But she said they would continue with other protests to press their demands for a fresh voter list and other reforms ahead of January's election.

The four-day blockade was enforced by the Awami League and its allies as part of their campaign to force the caretaker government to remove the Chief Election Commissioner, MA Aziz.

They accused Mr Aziz of being biased towards the Bangladesh Nationalist Party and its allies who handed over power to a caretaker government in October.

The caretaker government is supposed to be neutral and is responsible for ensuring the vote is free and fair.

Bias

On Wednesday the president - who heads the caretaker administration - said in a nationwide television address that Mr Aziz had agreed to go on leave for three months.

The Awami League say the announcement is a victory for their blockade strategy.

But Sheikh Hasina still announced that the alliance will stage a sit-in programme in front of President Iajuddin Ahmed's house on 27 November.

The four-day blockade cut the capital Dhaka off from the rest of the country and meant that many towns and cities were inaccessible by road.




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Timeline: Bangladesh
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Country profile: Bangladesh
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