Anfrel forced to cancel its observation mission for the 11th parliamentary election
The United States has expressed disappointed over the Bangladesh government’s inability to grant credentials and issue visas to the majority of international election monitors within the timeframe necessary.
The US State Department made the statement ina press release issued on Saturday.
This issue has prevented the majority of international election monitors from the Asian Network for Free Elections (Anfrel) – which the United States funds through the National Democratic Institute – from conducting a credible international monitoring mission.
As a result, Anfrel was forced to cancel its observation mission for the 11th parliamentary election of Bangladesh slated for December 30.
The lack of an international observation mission makes it even more important for the government of Bangladesh to complete the accreditation of all the local NGOs that constitute the Election Working Group, which includes some funded by USAID, so they can conduct the vital work of monitoring the election, the press release read.
The release added that in the lead up to any democratic election, there must be space for peaceful expression and assembly, for independent media to do its job covering electoral developments, for participants to have access to information and for all individuals to be able to partake in the electoral process without harassment, intimidation or violence.
The US State Department concluded the press release by encouraging the Bangladesh government to uphold its commitment to a democratic process by ensuring all Bangladeshis are free to peacefully express themselves and participate in December 30 election.