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US Pushes For Free and Fair Vote Amid Political Upheaval in Bangladesh

The U.S. government says it believes that holding free, fair and fully participatory elections as soon as possible is the best solution for Bangladesh.

A U.S. Embassy statement issued in Dhaka Friday said the United States has consistently urged the caretaker government to hold democratic polls. The statement comes one day after the chief of the interim administration in Bangladesh resigned and postponed general elections.

The former chief adviser to Bangladesh's interim government, Iajuddin Ahmed, also declared a state of emergency on Thursday just hours before he stepped down. The U.S. Embassy said it regrets that the government felt compelled to take such measures because the opposition and interim government were not able to resolve their political differences.

Bangladesh has faced political upheaval surrounding the January 22 polls, with an opposition coalition holding crippling strikes and protests to demand electoral reforms.

A new interim leader was sworn in Friday to organize new elections but a date has not been set.