• Friday, Apr 10, 2020
  • Last Update : 12:44 am

'Appointing Bangladeshi observers by embassies violation of law'

  • Published at 09:09 pm January 31st, 2020
Election Campaign
Election campaign posters Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

Elections to DNCC and DSCC are scheduled for Saturday with participation of all major political parties

The appointment of Bangladeshi employees of different organizations and diplomatic missions as election observers is a violation of law, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen said on Friday.

He said this while addressing the press after a meeting over the coronavirus outbreak at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA) on Friday.

Hoping that the missions will not allow any of them to visit the voting centres of Saturday's Dhaka city polls, he said: "According to the law of our country no Bangladesh national can be international observers. 

"Foreign election observers must be non-Bangladeshis. But unfortunately some [diplomatic missions] have appointed their Bangladeshi employees as international observers." 

When asked how did this happen and whether it was appropriate, he said: "I do not know how this has happened. But we believe that foreign organizations and missions know their code of conduct.

"And we have asked them [missions] to abide by the code of conduct."

Responding to a query about whether this can be stopped now, Momen said: "The Election Commission is aware of this and the diplomatic missions and organizations should take responsibility since they know the law. 

"They [missions] should strike off the names of their Bangladeshi employees whom they made international observers for the Dhaka city polls, and they should not be allowed to visit any of the polling centres."

"According to our law, foreign observers should be foreigners and it is standard practice in every country.

"We do not have any objections if they [diplomatic missions] appoint their nationals to observe the elections. They can talk to the candidates participating in the city polls but they cannot violate our system and rules."