State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam today said some opposition parties, who have in the past shown bias towards undemocratic change in power, are threatening to foil the upcoming general election unless a caretaker government is formed.
During a meeting with a Commonwealth Pre-election Assessment Mission (PEAM) at his office, he said the election process in Bangladesh is open to domestic and foreign observers.
The state minister underlined that the election is a festive event for citizens and voter participation is usually quite high in Bangladesh.
Shahriar Alam highlighted that the present government encourages broader participation of political parties in the elections and the actual parameter of an inclusive election is the participation of the people in the electoral process.
The delegation leader Linford Andrews mentioned that the relationship between the Commonwealth and Bangladesh is more holistic and includes a wide range of issues.
He said his organization stands ready to continue positive engagement to provide post-electoral support as well.
The state minister expressed readiness to extend the cooperation of the government to all foreign election observers that would like to observe the upcoming parliamentary election.
He re-affirmed Bangladesh’s willingness to play a greater role in the Commonwealth system as it advances along the development path.
During the meeting, he briefed the visiting delegation about the several initiatives that the government has taken to hold the national election scheduled for January 7, 2024.
He expressed that the present government is fully aware of its democratic obligations and is sincerely working to hold a free and fair national election for which an independent Election Commission (EC) has been formed.
The present government embarked on electoral reforms like creating biometric voter list, introducing transparent ballot boxes, giving full budgetary independence to the Election Commission, and enacting law to establish a mechanism for appointing the impartial election commissioners through a committee led by a judge.
The Commonwealth Pre-Election Assessment Mission is on a four-day visit to Bangladesh.
They will assess the current situation in the country and make recommendations to the Commonwealth secretary general.
The Commonwealth secretary general will then decide on whether to send an observer mission or not.