Bangladesh opposition party office cordoned ahead of protest

Dhaka, Jan 7 (IANS) Law enforcers on Saturday cordoned off the headquarters of Bangladesh’s largest opposition party here ahead of a demonstration on Sunday.

Former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia’s Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) announced the countrywide demonstration after it was not allowed to hold a rally here to protest against the general election on January 5, 2014, which the party dubbed as “democracy killing day”.

However, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s ruling Bangladesh Awami League observes January 5 as a “victory day of democracy”, Xinhua news agency reported.

Anti-riot policemen surrounded the headquarters here since morning.

Tensions are running high across Bangladesh as the country’s political situation is once again heating up centering on the third anniversary of January 5 elections which 21 parties, including Zia’s BNP, boycotted.

BNP, which has no representation in the parliament, has been demanding fresh elections under a non-party caretaker government.

But the ruling party has said there will be no general election before 2019.

Political analysts said there was no alternative but to reach consensus over the next election issues to avoid further serious confrontation.

Scores of people were killed in violence over the elections.