They also called for safeguarding freedom of expression and right to peaceful assembly
The heads of countries belonging to the European Union (EU) as well as Norway and Sweden called upon the government, Election Commission and all stakeholders to ensure a genuine, credible, inclusive and transparent electoral process in the upcoming general polls, slated for December 30.
In a joint statement issued in Dhaka on Monday, the European delegation have urged all political parties to meet their democratic responsibilities, refrain from violence; and law enforcing agencies to strictly adhere to the rule of law.
They also called for safeguarding freedom of expression and right to peaceful assembly.
As the formal campaigning period for the upcoming parliamentary elections begins, the delegation told all stakeholders to uphold and protect citizens' rights to universal suffrage, freedom of expression and right to peaceful assembly and welcome the commitments made by the Bangladesh Election Commission and the Government of Bangladesh in this respect,” it said.
“Media and civil society scrutiny is particularly important in ensuring transparency throughout this process,” the statement added.
“Participatory elections constitute an important step in the ongoing process of national development for all Bangladeshi citizens,” the statement concluded.
The envoys who signed the statement are EU Ambassador Rensje Teerink, British High Commissioner Alison Blake, Spanish Ambassador D Álvaro de Salas Giménez de Azcárate, Swedish Ambassador Charlotta Schlyter, French Ambassador Marie-Annick Bourdin, German Ambassador Peter Fahrenholtz, Dutch Ambassador Harry Verweij, Danish Ambassador Winnie Estrup Petersen, Norwegian Ambassador Sidsel Bleken and Swiss Ambassador René Holenstein.