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Friday, February 16, 2018 11:21:10 PM
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Uncomfortable truth about meeting the wrong persons

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17th-Feb-2018       
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The European Union's involvement in holding our national polls goes back more than a couple of decades.  As one may expects, this time also the political and economic union of 28 member states expects for an all-inclusive, free and fair polls to take place in Bangladesh. Last Wednesday a European Parliamentary delegation hoped that the political atmosphere in Bangladesh would become less confrontational and hostile in the coming months leading up to the national polls. The delegates also had a meeting with the Election Commission and discussed how the next national election can be made all- inclusive, free and fair.
In fact, not only the EU all our foreign friends including the UN expects for the same. In that regard, the EU must held meetings with the political leadership - so to materialise its expectations. Unless the ruling party is motivated for holding credible polls - meetings, seminars with the ineffective Election Commission (EC) or holding press conferences will do little to meet EUs expectations.
The outline and political culture for holding elections in Bangladesh has been mostly determined by the party in power. It's right on this point where the nail has to be hammered on the head, not elsewhere - meaning the EU must hold meeting with the PM - the actual person in power for ensuring and holding credible polls. Given the decades old dictatorial sick political culture prevailing in the country - by now it shouldn't be too difficult for the EU to comprehend that our state organs and constitutional autonomous bodies have ceased to function independently long time ago. They had become pawns in the hands of political leaderships.
However, the EU has mostly contributed in our national elections by providing aid and sending observers, but compare to any pre-election period before the country's political situation is far much worse today. We expect the EU to actively engage with the political leaders in the upper echelons of power in order to make its engagement meaningful for holding free, fair and an all-inclusive national election in Bangladesh.

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