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EU hopeful of peaceful, credible JS polls

Four EU observers in Dhaka

Published : 29 Nov 2023 11:46 PM | Updated : 30 Nov 2023 04:11 PM

The European Union (EU) is hopeful about a democratic, credible and peaceful parliamentary election in Bangladesh under the present Election Commission (EC).

"We hope to see a democratic, credible, peaceful and a participatory election", EU Ambassador Charles Whiteley said.

The EU came up with the remarks after a meeting with the Election Commission (EC) high-ups at the EC headquarters in the capital’s Agargaon on Wednesday.

Talking to journalists after the meeting, EU Ambassador Charles Whiteley further said, "We had a very extensive meeting with the CEC, his fellow commissioners and the EC team."

"We had a very wide range of exchanges of views regarding the preparation for the election. As an international partner to Bangladesh, we [EU] very much appreciate the opportunity to learn thoroughly about the preparation of the key election”, he said. 

"We have certainly had open discussion with the chief election commissioner and his team and we appreciate it”, he added.

"We hope to see a democratic, credible, peaceful and a participatory election", he added.

Meanwhile, a four-member EU team tasked with monitoring of election in Bangladesh has already arrived in Dhaka on Wednesday morning.

Some other EU members staying in Dhaka will add to the team for poll observation.

Earlier on September 20 in a letter to the EC, the EU confirmed that the EU will send a team to observe the JS polls in Bangladesh.

The EU took the decision to send its poll observers following a satisfactory report submitted by the EU’s Election Exploratory Mission that had visited Bangladesh from July 6 to July 22.

It should be mentioned that except BNP and some of its allies, most of the political parties are taking part in the elections.

Even some BNP leaders are taking part in polls as independent candidates on joining other political platforms.

EC official sources said at least 30 out of 44 registered political parties have formally informed that they are taking part in the JS polls although some of the political parties denied.

According to sources, led by EU Ambassador Charles Whiteley, the 10-member delegation of the EU held a two-hour long meeting with the Election Commission at 3:00pm on Wednesday.

Other delegation members of the EU include at least seven Ambassadors to Bangladesh from different countries.

They are Swedish Ambassador to Bangladesh Alexandra Berg Von Linde, Spanish Ambassador Francisco de Asís Benítez Salas, Italian Ambassador Antonio Alessandro, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Netherlands Irma van Dueren, Ambassador of Denmark Christian Brix Møller, Deputy Head of Mission at the French Embassy Gillaume Audren de Kerdrel, Deputy Head of Mission, Chargé d'Affaires at Embassy of Germany Jan Janowski,  Dr. Bernd Spanier, deputy head of mission, EU Delegation to Bangladesh Sebastian Riger-Brown and also the political officer of EU Delegation to Bangladesh. 

Those four specialized members of the EU include the 10-member delegation. 

On the other hand, the high-ups include Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Habibul Awal and other members of the Election Commission.

Alongside the EU, a large number of countries and international organisations have expressed their willingness to send poll observers.

As per the schedule, the 12th JS polls will be held on January 7, political parties will be able to submit nominations for candidacies till today (November 30), the EC will scrutinise the nomination forms from December 1-4, appeals against the nominations can be submitted from December 5-6 and nominations need to be withdrawn by December 17.

In the circumstances, most of the political parties are now busy with their electoral process. They almost have completed their nomination process.  

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