188 foreign observers to oversee polls
A total of 188 foreign observers of nine international organisations and a dozen foreign missions in Bangladesh and 56 foreign journalists are set to observe the upcoming polls.
Revealing this, the foreign ministry in a press release said on Thursday that the 11th parliamentary election scheduled for 30 December is going to be widely observed by the foreign observers and journalists, reports the BSS.
The nine organisations are: The EU, the Commonwealth, the OIC, Forum of Election Commission Management of South Asia (FEMBOSA), International Republican Institute (IRI), International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), Democracy International (Dl), Dipendra Kandel Initiative (DKI) and SAARC Human Rights Foundation.
The foreign observers are coming from a range of countries like Australia, Bhutan, Canada, India, USA, Samoa, Malaysia, Maldives, Nigeria, Nepal, Palestine, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, said the release.
The dozen foreign missions which are accredited to observe the election include the USA, the UK, Greece, Ireland, Japan, France, Germany, Canada, Switzerland and Denmark.
The release said 56 foreign journalists and media personnel are also set to visit Bangladesh to cover the election. A good number of them are already in Bangladesh.
The journalists are representing different international media groups including BBC, Cable News Int. INC, Deutsche Welle, NHK, The Yomiuri Shimbun, AFP, AP, News Agency, Al-Jazeera, German TV, TV Today Network, New York Times, Le Monde, The Economist, Zee News, Kyodo News, Times of India, The Hindu, National Public Radio (USA), Strategic News, Frontline and The Week.
The stringers of foreign media are also at work during the election times, the release said adding 118 local organizations with their more than 25,000 observers are also observing the upcoming election.
An International Election Observers’ Coordination Cell has been established under the Foreign Affairs Ministry with representations from the relevant Ministries and Departments including Home Affairs and Information.
Another unit of the Cell started operation in the Hotel Pan Pacific Sonargaon, while a Help Desk already in operation at the Hazrat Shah Jalal International Airport (HSIA) to welcome and assist the foreign observers and media personnel.
Constant liaison is being maintained between these units among the relevant ministries and especially with the Bangladesh Election Commission for smooth coordination, said the release.
All Bangladesh Missions have been advised to assist them with visa facilities, it said adding that arrangements have also been put in place for according visa on arrival to those observers and journalists who would not be in a position to obtain visa from Bangladesh Missions abroad.
The foreign observers and journalists are being issued accreditation and pass to enable them to observe polling on the election day.
In addition to the accreditation, the EC is issuing stickers for vehicles to be used by the foreign observers and media people and those foreign Missions in Bangladesh that have requested for registration to observe the election.
Security support, when requested, will also be given to the foreign observers, said the release.