The United States wants the 11th parliamentary election of Bangladesh to pass peacefully with the full range of political parties represented on the ballot paper, the country’s top diplomat said on Wednesday.
US Ambassador to Bangladesh Marcia Stephens Bloom Bernicat made the statement on the 2019 polls at the Election Commission Secretariat in Agargaon area of Dhaka, after a two-hour meeting with Chief Election Commissioner and other EC officials.
“The US wants to see an acceptable election in Bangladesh where all political parties will participate and no violence will occur during the election time or after that,” the ambassador said.
Quoting Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the ambassador said the US wants a “question-free election”.
“The US is a development partner of Bangladesh and wants to support the country with all necessary help for a fair election,” she said.
While talking about the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs), Bernicat said the EC will “take the right decision” after a discussion with all the political parties.
Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda said the commission does not want a repeat of the 1996 election or the most recent polls on January 5, 2014, when opposition parties mounted a boycott.
Mohammad Abdullah, secretary to the Election Commission, told reporters that there is still a question over acceptability as all political parties did not participate in 2014.
“Uniting all political parties is still a big challenge for next parliamentary election. But the Election commission will leave no stone unturned to ensure an acceptable election,” he said.