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Bangladesh opposition on hunger strike

Wednesday, July 13, 2011 - 01:19

July 13 - Bangladesh's opposition party and its supporters begin an eight-hour hunger strike in protest over police allegedly injuring their chief whip, and the abolition of their non-partisan, caretaker government system. Nick Rowlands reports.

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Supporters of Bangladesh's main opposition party demonstrate in the capital, Dhaka, on Wednesday. Some followers and party members are also on an eight hour hunger strike. Led by the head of Bangladesh's Nationalist Party, Begum Khaleda Zia, the strike is in protest over police allegedly injuring their party whip during clashes at a demonstration last week. The July 6th demonstration was against the government's decision to abolish the system of holding national elections under a non-partisan caretaker administration. A former MP explains: (SOUNDBITE) (Bengali) FORMER MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT SULTANA AHMED: "The mass hunger strike we are observing is in protest against the police beating up our chief whip, and on our leaders and supporters, and also to enforce the caretaker government system. Since this morning, we have sat in this hunger strike under the leadership of Begum Khaleda Zia." The caretaker government system was introduced in 1996 to try to end violence and fraud during elections. But on June 30th parliament amended the constitution to do away with the caretaker system, which was ruled unconstitutional in May by the Bangladesh Supreme Court. Nick Rowlands, Reuters.

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Bangladesh opposition on hunger strike

Wednesday, July 13, 2011 - 01:19