With polling for presidential elections in Bangladesh now just a few days away, candidates for the presidency have been holding electioneering rallies and on Thursday (25 May) it was President Ziaur Rahman who addressed supporters at one of his rallies.
GV: Girls marching through streets with drums. (2 SHOTS)
GV PAN: People massing at rally. (4 SHOTS)
SV: President Ziaur Rahman on rostrum.
GV & SVs: People listening to President speaking.(6 SHOTS)
Since August 1975, when the previous administration of Sheikh Mujib was overthrown, and the Sheikh assassinated, Bangladesh has been under martial law. At the time the parliament was dissolved and a group of civilian advisers has been helping General Zia to run the country. Political activity is restricted, though there are 18 licensed parties.
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Background: With polling for presidential elections in Bangladesh now just a few days away, candidates for the presidency have been holding electioneering rallies and on Thursday (25 May) it was President Ziaur Rahman who addressed supporters at one of his rallies. He is standing as a candidate, and has already promised that there will be a general election in December.
SYNOPSIS: The rally was held in the town of Tangail, about 50 miles (80 kilometres) north west of the capital, Dacca. General Zia says the presidential elections will be a step towards returning the country to democracy. The move has been met with opposition by other major political parties, who wanted him to arrange parliamentary elections. The biggest political party, the Awami League, say the election has been designed to perpetuate what they call his authoritarian rule.
But General Zia is going ahead with the election. He amended military legislation so that he can stand as a presidential candidate on the June 3 election. Under previous laws armed forces officers were barred from entering politics. President Zia is backed by a six-party "Nationalist Front" including the rightist Moslem League. His main opponent-nine others are contesting the presidency-is the former Bangladesh army chief, General Ataul Ghani Osmani, supported by the Awami League.