UN underscores free and fair election in BD: Spokesperson

UN underscores free and fair election in BD: Spokesperson

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Dhaka, May 16 – The United Nations has placed emphasis on respecting the need for free and fair elections in Bangladesh.
“Well, as you pointed out, we continue to call for the need for all parties and all authorities to respect the need for free and fair elections in Bangladesh and will continue to do that,” Farhan Haq, deputy spokesperson for the UN secretary-general, told a regular briefing in New York on Tuesday while replying to a question regarding the Khulna City Corporation poll. Referring to previous UN calls for peaceful, free and credible election, the questioner suggested that the KCC election was marred by the irregularities, including ballot stuffing, driving out of the agents of BNP and obstructing reporters to enter the polling station and the administration did nothing about these irregularities. He also wanted to know the best possible way to hold free, fair and credible elections.
The United States has described the reported irregularities, intimidation and violence in the Khulna City Corporation election as very disappointing and called for full and transparent investigation into those.
Washington, however, noted that the wider participation of the parties in the poll is very encouraging. “First and foremost, it is very encouraging that wider range of parties participated in the election. The election was inclusive…Absolutely. So, I congratulate everyone for that,” US ambassador Marcia Bernicat told reporters at the foreign ministry yesterday after accompanying visiting US agency for international development (USAID) administrator Mark Green, who held a meeting with foreign secretary Shahidul Haque.
“But, (I’m) disappointed, however, to hear about reports of irregularities, intimidation even worse violence and call for full and transparent investigation to be made into these,” she said while responding to a question regarding the poll.
“I further call on all parties to stay within the boundaries of rule of law in the future elections. We know there are people who pledged to do that for this election,” she added.
To another question, the ambassador said, “Again, the fact that all parties participated…Absolutely fantastic and there were reported irregularities and intimidation and violence… very disappointing. Those should be investigated. There are mechanisms to do that so that it does not happen again.” – Staff REeporter

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