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US to send election observers

  • Published at 09:10 pm December 11th, 2018
US-ambassador-earl-r-miller-focus-bangla-11.12.2018
US Ambassador Earl R Miller speaking to journalists after a meeting with CEC KM Nurul Huda at the Election Commission Secretariat in Agargaon, Dhaka Focus Bangla

Miller said the US-funded National Democratic Institute (NDI) sent a five-member pre-assessment team in October and a second pre-assessment will be conducted this month

US Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl R Miller on Tuesday said that the United States will be sending its own election observers to support local observers for a free and fair election on December 30. 

Speaking to the press after a meeting with Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda at Election Commission Secretariat in Agargaon, Miller said: “We encourage the Bangladesh government to hold a free, fair and credible election."

"Violence hinders the democratic process. It only serves those who want to undermine that," the ambassador added.

Miller said the US-funded National Democratic Institute (NDI) sent a five-member pre-assessment team in October and a second pre-assessment will be conducted this month.

The US embassy will deploy separate election observation teams across Bangladesh. In cooperation with UK and Switzerland, the US is funding 15,000 local election observers working with the Election Working Group, a consortium of civil societies’ organizations.

NDI sub-grant partner, the Asian Network for Free Election, has dedicated two international electoral analysts to cover the upcoming general elections. They will also be sending international observers for short and long terms, Miller added.

The ambassador went on to say: “All parties should be free to participate in the polls and political process. They should be free to express their political views, campaign and hold peaceful rallies and meetings.

“Strongest democracies flourish from frequent and lively debates. Freedom of expression is vital for healthy democracy. Civil society members and members of opposition political parties (should be able) to express their views and advocate for policy change.”