Dec. 2 - The main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and its rightwing allies extend their nationwide strike for two more days, seeking postponement of polls. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Violence rages in Bangladesh as the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party extended a nationwide strike for two more days, seeking a postponement of polls. The opposition led strike, which was scheduled to end on Sunday, has virtually paralyzed the country straight for the second week. Last week, at least 20 people were killed across the country during nationwide protests called by BNP to set up a caretaker government during the polls. A BNP spokesperson declared that the blockade would now continue till Thursday. The BNP has refused to nominate candidates for January 05 parliament elections until the dispute over the caretaker government was settled. The deadline to file nomination papers ended on Monday. The BNP has rejected any attempt to hold an election until it is satisfied a neutral interim administration is in place without Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Both heirs to political dynasties, Hasina and BNP leader Begum Khaleda Zia have rotated as prime minister for most of the last 22 years amid unending enmity, set against an all-too-familiar background of violent protests in one of the world's poorest countries.