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Bangladesh Interim Leader Steps Down After Declaring State of Emergency


Bangladesh's president has resigned as chief advisor to the interim government Thursday amid a growing election crisis.

In a speech broadcast to the nation, Iajuddin Ahmed also appointed his senior advisor, Fazlul Haque as acting chief of the interim government.

He also said that elections, set for January 22, will be postponed. He did not announce a new date.

Ahmed's resignation came just hours after state-run media reported that Ahmed had declared a state of emergency and imposed a night-time curfew.

Bangladesh has been in the grip of an election crisis with a key opposition alliance of 18 parties accusing the caretaker government of favoring the former ruling Bangladesh Nationalist Party.

The Awami League had said it would boycott the ballot. It organized several protest blockades and demanded the interim leader's resignation, accusing him of failing to guarantee a free and fair vote.

This week, thousands of Awami supporters brought the capital, Dhaka, to a standstill for three consecutive days. More than 200 people were injured in clashes between riot police and protesters.

Some demonstrations turned deadly, with more than 40 people killed.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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