Bangladesh government locks party offices
Mar 11, 2007 - 8:08:05 PM

Dhaka, March 11 - The central offices of major political parties in Bangladesh were locked up Sunday as the combined security forces geared up a countrywide drive against corruption, officials said.

The offices were shut down after interim government chief Fakhruddin Ahmad warned of a tough stance against anyone attempting to violate a total ban on political activities.

Officials of the Awami League and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, the two main political organisations, said they had instructed party workers not to come to work as indoor political activities were also disallowed.

Media reports said many party offices outside the capital Dhaka were sealed by the authorities.

A state of emergency declared by President Iajuddin Ahmad amid a political impasse between the arch-rivals and former premiers Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia has led to indefinite postponement of general elections, which had been scheduled for Jan 22.

An interim government was appointed with professionals, retired army officers, former bureaucrats and leading businessmen to create a congenial climate for holding free and fair parliamentary polls.

The authorities arrested more than a 100 leading political and social figures in the past two months on alleged corruption charges.

The newly formed election commission said fair elections could only be held after the 'illegally wealthy' were brought to justice and their black money seized.

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