Authorities in Bangladesh are deploying military soldiers to help civil administrators hold national elections on 5, January, 2013 that the opposition is boycotting.

The main opposition party and many allies are boycotting the vote because Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina refuses to resign and hand over power to a non-party caretaker government that would conduct the polls.

The military said in a statement from its public relations office that the deployment began on Thursday and the soldiers will work as a “striking force” until January 9, 2013.

Political violence has rattled the nation for months, leaving more than 150 people dead since October.