Amid Western pressure to hold impartial and representative elections, Bangladesh has extended an open invitation to foreign envoys to be part of the international team of observers for its general elections, scheduled for January 7, 2024, here on Friday.
At a meeting attended by heads of missions of about 50 countries here on Friday, Bangladesh foreign secretary Masood Bin Momen invited them to participate as observers for the coming polls, while welcoming them to open missions in Dhaka.He dislosed this at a press interaction at the Bangladesh High Commission here on Saturday.
The Bangladesh Foreign Secretary assured the various dipolamtic mission of a free and fair election, Speaking to Indian media about last night’s meeting with the missions, he said,”The Bangladesh Government has a compulsion of holding general election after completion of five years tenure. This is the desire of the people. It will be held under the constitutional provisions of the country.”
About 30 ambassadors and mission representative of about more than 50 countries attended the meeting hosted by High Commissioner Mustafizur Rahaman. The Foreign Secretary addressed the gathering and apprised them about the the countriy’s economic development and preparedness of upcoming election. The Ambassodors of South Americ, East Europe and many African countries attended the gathering.
While talking about the current political scenario of the country, the Foreign Secretary said some political parties were trying to jeopardise the election process and had indulged in violence including attacking the residence of Chief Justice of Supreme court and even police personnel and journalists, and vandalising public transport by igniting fire . One police person was killed during the attack.
Asked whethe the recently held India-US 2+2 was discussed in the meetint with the Indian Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra, he said, “generally we don’t discuss about third country in the bilateral talks, but Indian Foreign Secretary had made clear their stand on Bangladesh election and said that it was the people of the country who will decide their fate . India does not want to interfare in internal affairs of another country.” He also said, “we hope all other countries should respect the internal affairs of our country. One can not compare the situation of other countries with Bangladesh. Each country has its own political culture and system. It can not be changed overnight. “
About the legitimacy of the election without the participation of major opposition party BNP , the Foreign Secretary said,” The Election Commission is ready to reschedule the election dates if they want to join the election process. It is not the question of participation of a party but what was important was participation of people .Thehrefore, voters turn out will be a major indicator for legitimacy of the election.
Asked if a dialogue between the ruling Awami league and opposition BNP aliance was possible, the Foreign Secretary said,” government was open to dialogue ,but now the time is running out for that. Moreover, the Opposition was demanding resignation of elected government and installing a care taker government which amounts to precondition for dialogue. That Government has ruled out.”
Answering a question on arrest of various opposition leaders, the Foreign secretary said,” On 28th October, when opposition called for a hartal and blocade, means of public transport were set on fire at the instruction of those leaders. Even train were not spared. To maintain law and order, the government was forced to arrest some leaders. There are video footage of arsons and attacks. – INDIA NEWS STREAM