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US lawmaker places resolution on Bangladesh election

  • Published at 06:29 pm December 7th, 2018
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The US Capitol is pictured in Washington, US, November 13, 2018 Reuters

Republican lawmaker William R Keating submitted the resolution on December 6 which was then referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs

A Republican lawmaker has placed a resolution before the Congress asking the US government to promote free, fair, transparent, and credible elections in Bangladesh.

William R Keating, a Democrat who represents the 9th district of Massachusetts submitted the resolution on December 6 which was then referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

It called on the government of Bangladesh to respect the freedom of speech and of the press, and to heed the Bangladesh Election Commission’s request to ensure security for minorities and maintain communal harmony for a peaceful election.

It also urged the political leaders and judicial authorities in Bangladesh to respect the will of voters and ensure that all Bangladeshis will be able to participate freely in the upcoming elections, and that the elections will be impartial and inclusive.

The resolution considered that democratic stability, regional security, and economic prosperity in Bangladesh and South Asia are vital to the national security interests of the US.

Washington should more actively engage with Bangladesh with respect to their shared interests in safeguarding human rights, religious freedom, and secular democracy in Bangladesh, while preventing the growth of religious extremism and militancy, the resolution added.

It said one of Bangladesh’s main political parties boycotted the 2014 general election due to concerns about the impartiality of the electoral process and in recent years, Bangladesh’s democratic system has faced challenges, including political violence, environmental strain, Islamist militancy, a refugee crisis, and challenges to freedom of speech and press.