US expresses concern over violence ahead of polls
Dhaka: The US has expressed concern over the ‘high level’ of violence during electioneering over the last two weeks ahead of the 11th parliamentary elections slated for December 30.
It also wished all Bangladeshis a free, fair, tolerant and peaceful election day on December 30, reports the UNB.
US Ambassador in Dhaka Earl Robert Miller made the remarks while talking to reporters after a meeting with Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda at the latter’s office at Nirbachan Bhaban.
‘I asked for this meeting (with CEC) because the United States is concerned by the high level of campaign violence over the last two weeks. All parties have been victims of violence, including minorities and female candidates. However, it appears opposition party candidates have borne the brunt of most violence,’ said the US Ambassador.
‘In any democratic election, there must be space for peaceful expression and assembly, for independent media to do its job covering electoral developments;and for participants to have access to information; and for all individuals to be able to partake in the electrical process without harassment, intimidation or violence,’ he added.
Millar said Bangladesh is rightfully proud of its democratic traditions, including elections where upwards of 70 percent of electorate turn out to vote.
He appreciated the opportunity to consult the Election Commission to see what plans it has to create a conducive atmosphere so all Bangladeshis, no matter their political affiliation, feel safe to go to the polls on Sunday and cast their votes for the candidates of their choice. ‘The United States wishes all Bangladeshis a free, fair, tolerant and peaceful election day on December 30,’ the US envoy said.