Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, UN assistant secretary-general for political affairs, is due to arrive in Dhaka in the second week of May to talk about the upcoming elections.
“Fernandez-Taranco will come to Bangladesh to discuss election-related issues with all stakeholders, including major political parties and the Election Commission (EC),” Bangladesh permanent representative to UN AKA Momen told the Dhaka Tribune on Friday evening.
Taranco also visited Bangladesh December 6-9 last year at the request of the UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon, and held talks with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, leader of the opposition Khaleda Zia, EC chief Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmed, the media and civil society members.
The UN wants to see free, fair and transparent elections scheduled by January 2014, and it is ready to assist Bangladesh if it requires, Momen said.
“The secretary general sent two letters to the chiefs of the two major parties, which we dispatched last week,” he added.
Ban said the last election was held in a peaceful manner, and there should not be any deviation from it in the next election. If Bangladesh requires, the UN is ready to provide help.
The UN has already helped Bangladesh in its election process, and for the last year has been helping the EC with one project, he said.
It also helped the country by providing all voters with ID cards.
The permanent representative said a Bangladeshi delegation led by Finance Minister AMA Muhith met the Ban last April and discussed the upcoming elections.
“In the meeting, Ban Ki-moon asked the Bangladesh team if the country needed any UN assistance. It was later decided that Taranco would visit Bangladesh in May,” he said.
“Neal Walker, UN resident coordinator in Bangladesh, was in New York that time and we also discussed the issue with him later,” he added.
During his last trip in December, Fernandez-Taranco stressed that the next parliamentary elections should be peaceful, credible and inclusive, giving all voters the chance to cast votes at the polls.