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Hasan: Diplomats violated norms by visiting candidates’ homes

  • Published at 09:27 pm January 31st, 2020
Dr Hasan Mahmud
Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud speaks to the reporters at an event in Hathazari upazila, Chittagong on Friday, January 31, 2020 PID

The diplomats show much interest when any election takes place in Bangladesh, the information minister says

Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud on Friday said foreign diplomats had violated diplomatic norms by visiting the residences of the candidates contestingDhaka city polls.

“Ahead of the local government elections [Dhaka city polls], the diplomats visited the candidates in their homes, which was not fair at all. Visiting the homes of the candidates to show sympathy is not a diplomatic job. I think the diplomatic norms were violated in this regard,” he told reporters at an event in Hathazari upazila, Chittagong.

Hasan, also the joint general secretary of the Awami League, said the diplomats were making frequent comments on the city elections, which is a violation of the diplomatic norms.

When general elections or local government elections are held in India or other countries, the foreign diplomats do not make any comment on them, he added.

Replying to a question, Hasan said: “We always notice that when any election approaches in our country, foreign diplomats show much interest in it. Some of us are responsible for that… when anything happens in the country, BNP places allegations, calling upon the diplomats.”

BNP should lodge its allegations before the country’s people and voters, but the party does so to the foreign diplomats, which is not right, he added.

The information minister said the Election Commission has issued election observer cards to many officials of different embassies and missions. Of them, 28 officials are Bangladeshis, he added.

“The EC has given an explanation as to why it issued the cards to the officials working in different embassies and missions in Dhaka. But I personally think that this explanation is not acceptable,” Hasan said, adding that the commission would be more careful in this regard.

He said no foreign observer arrived in Dhaka so far to monitor the Dhaka city elections.

The elections to Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) and Dhaka South City Corporation  (DSCC) is scheduled for Saturday.