Bangladesh emergency eases ahead of polls

Nov. 3, 2008 at 11:38 PM

DHAKA, Bangladesh, Nov. 3 (UPI) -- Bangladesh's military-backed interim government has eased some of its emergency rule measures ahead of elections set for next month.

Caretaker President Iajuddin Ahmed ordered the withdrawal of armed forces deployed across the country when Bangladesh came under emergency rule in January 2007.

The government also lifted restrictions on meetings, gatherings and rallies related to electioneering for the Dec. 18 national polls, Bangladesh New Age reported. Local elections will be held Dec. 28.

Two rules relating to media curbs and criticism against government were repealed.

"Lifting of the restrictions on political activities will not cause any deterioration in law and order," the country's home adviser was quoted as saying.

With the relaxation of the emergency rules, the government reinstated special security for former prime ministers and bitter political rivals, Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina, who lead the two main political parties in the country.

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