Government says Bangladesh will hold elections Jan. 5 despite opposition boycott threat

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Bangladesh's government has announced parliamentary elections on Jan. 5 despite a boycott threat by opposition parties.

The main opposition coalition has vowed to hold nationwide protests unless Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina resigns and transfers power to a non-partisan caretaker administration to oversee the elections. Hasina has rejected the demand.

Instead, Hasina earlier this month formed what she calls an all-party election-time government to oversee the polls. Her new 29-member Cabinet includes members of her Awami League party and five other parties, all of them her allies.

Chief Election Commissioner announced the election date Monday, saying the commission will do everything possible to ensure peaceful, free and fair elections.