The government has asked foreign missions in Bangladesh not to include their local Bangladeshi employees in observer teams for Saturday’s Dhaka city elections.
In a letter to the foreign diplomatic missions in Dhaka on January 30, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs pointed out that they cannot include local employees having Bangladeshi nationality in their teams.
“According to the ‘Guidelines for Foreign Election Observer 2018’ no local employee of a foreign mission having Bangladeshi nationality is eligible to observe the election as an international observer,” the letter reads.
The Foreign Ministry also assured the foreign missions of its “highest consideration”.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Friday said the inclusion of Bangladesh citizens employed in foreign missions in Dhaka in the election observer teams is a "violation of law".
Asked whether it could be stopped, the Foreign Minister said the Election Commission knows it better but the foreign missions should take the responsibility.
"They shouldn’t allow them [(local employees) to join the teams of observers]. They can't violate our rules and systems," said the Foreign Minister while briefing reporters at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport.
Diplomats stationed in Dhaka along with their Bangladesh-citizen colleagues planned to observe polls as foreign observers.
Elections to Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) and Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) are scheduled for Saturday with participation of all major political parties.
On Thursday, diplomats stationed in Dhaka in a joint statement said they hope to see democracy in action in polling centres across the city on February 1.
They said the elections are an opportunity for the citizens of Dhaka to exercise their democratic rights.
“We hope the government of Bangladesh, the Election Commission and all political parties will respect the rights of citizens to cast their votes in a peaceful and festive atmosphere, and count the votes with fairness and integrity,” the statement read.