UCAN needs your support
You are why we do what we do - report, describe, comment, review. It is to bring to your eyes just what life is like for believers across Asia that we publish UCAN.
But as you know, the effort needs to be sustained if it is to have continuing effect.
UCAN publishes some 150 stories a week in four languages across six websites. We are grateful to benefactors in Europe and the US who support us. But those countries and the Church there are under increasing financial strain and their generosity no longer covers our costs.
We need financial help from our readers to sustain our efforts. Our reporters, editors, video producers and photographers all have families and we need to support them. They do excellent jobs, but they can't do their jobs for nothing.
Will you help us to sustain UCAN? Please click here to help.
Thanks in anticipation.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Boycott puts Bangladesh polls in doubt
More parties refusing to stand for election
Bangladesh opposition supporters protest in Dhaka calling for January 5 polls to be suspended (photo Shahadat Hosen)
- ucanews.com reporter, Dhaka
- December 4, 2013
The ruling Awami League’s plan to hold general elections in Bangladesh on January 5 suffered a fresh blow on Tuesday when a key ally announced it would boycott the polls.
The decision by the Jatiya Party (JP), which quit Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s ruling Grand Alliance coalition last month, follows the announcement on Monday by opposition parties that they would not take part in the polls.
The opposition led by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) announced their boycott after the prime minister refused their demand that she step down so a non-partisan caretaker government can oversee the election.
The long-running dispute has led to violent protests in recent weeks by opposition supporters in which dozens of people have been killed.
As a result the current political climate makes a “free, fair and inclusive election” unlikely, JP chairman, HM Ershad said on Tuesday.
“The Jatiya Party will not contest the parliamentary election because all political parties have not submitted nomination papers for the polls,” said Ershad.
The deadline for submitting nomination papers for the elections expired on Monday.
“Earlier I said I would go to the polls if all the parties were taking part. Since this is not happening, I am not taking part in the polls…I have kept my promise,” said the former military officer who ruled Bangladesh from 1982-90 until he was ousted in a popular uprising.
The Jatiya Party is the country’s third largest after the ruling Awami League and opposition BNP. It quit the Grand Alliance last month to make way for an interim caretaker government.
Ruling party lawmakers say the elections will go ahead and expressed hope the JP would take part.
“The Awami League has proved that free and fair elections can be held under a partisan government. So, we hope the Jatiya Party will join the polls,” said Suranjit Sengupta, a senior Awami League parliamentarian.