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Bangladesh election commissioner resigns under pressure

[JURIST] The Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) of the Bangladesh Election Commission (EC) [official website] resigned Monday as a controversial election threatens to undermine the political stability of the country. CEC MA Aziz voluntarily took a three-month leave of absence in order to resolve a political deadlock over the status and membership of the Commission. Most of Aziz's five deputies are expected to resign and the newly-appointed interim government charged with leading the country in the run-up to a national poll plans to appoint a new CEC within the next few days. The calls of resignation came from a 14-party coalition led by the Awami League (AL) [official website], which had demanded a flawless voter list before elections take place.

Earlier this month Iajuddin Ahmed [Wikipedia profile], the president of Bangladesh [JURIST news archive], deferred the January 22 election indefinitely and declared a state of emergency [JURIST report] in the face of violent political protests and political parties threatening to blockade voting places. Bangladeshi authorities arrested over 2500 people [JURIST report] and raided the homes of several political leaders in a crackdown following the swearing-in of the new interim government [New Age report]. Xinhua has more.

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