• Monday, Sep 28, 2020
  • Last Update : 01:10 pm

Bernicat urges Bangladesh to hold ‘free and fair’ polls

  • Published at 10:36 pm October 30th, 2018
File photo of Marcia Stephens Bloom Bernicat Collected

Bernicat said it is possible to hold a free, fair and credible election in Bangladesh with the participation of all political parties

The outgoing US ambassador to Bangladesh on Tuesday urged the Bangladesh government to fulfil its commitment to hold a “free, fair, participatory and credible” election when the country goes to the polls at the end of the year.

Marcia Stephens Bloom Bernicat expressed her parting hope while addressing a press conference at the EMK Center in Dhaka.

“A free, fair and inclusive election is important for a democracy,” the envoy said. 

“Parties must be free to participate in the global process and then they can able to live without fear. All political parties must be allowed to hold peaceful rallies without any fear for ensuring a credible election in the country.”

Bernicat said it is possible to hold a free, fair and credible election in Bangladesh with the participation of all political parties.

She stated her hope that the dialogue to be held between ruling Awami League and Jatiya Oikya Front over the upcoming general elections would be “fruitful”.

“We are not extending support to any particular political party, rather, we want all political parties to take part in the election,” she said.

Also on Tuesday, Bernicat expressed her hope that that Bangladesh government will work further on revising the Digital Security Act, describing it as “harmful for the freedom of press” in its current state. 

She said the US and Bangladesh have worked together on security issues, including counter-terrorism and peacekeeping. 

“United States and Bangladesh are both bounded on democratic principles after the struggle for independence and we hope to share this cooperation in future,” she said, adding that she appreciated the government and people of Bangladesh for their generosity in sheltering Rohingya refugees.  

“Bangladesh and United States have worked on development, democracy, ensure prosperity and human dignity.” 

The outgoing envoy further said the relations between the countries have strengthened over the past three years of her tenure at the Dhaka embassy. “I am happy to say that we have enhanced partnership and this just keeps both of us safe.”

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