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Khaleda tells Sherman about vote rigging

photo by NN Photo

US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman and US Ambassador in Dhaka Marcia Bernicat meet BNP Chief Begum Khaleda Zia at her Gulshan residence on Friday.

By bdnews24.com
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Khaleda Zia has drawn the attention of US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman towards the large-scale rigging and irregularities, allegedly took place during the city corporation polls.The BNP chairperson presented the 'information and evidences' on the allegations during her meeting with the US diplomat, said a senior party leader.Sherman called on Khaleda at her Gulshan residence on Friday afternoon and had a meeting for around 30 minutes.After the meeting, BNP Standing Committee member Abdul Moyeen Khan told reporters that the two had discussed all issues including Bangladesh's political and socio-economic situations.'Rigging' of city corporations elections with the 'support' of government, Election Commission and the ruling Awami League figured prominently during their discussions, according to party leaders. Besides, they said, Khaleda Zia also pointed out how party's elected representatives in various local governments were harassed by the government by dismissing them from the jobs, implicating in false cases.Apart from Khan, the BNP chief's Advisers Riaz Rahman, Sabih Uddin Ahmed and US Ambassador in Dhaka Marcia Stephens Bloom Bernicat were present during the meeting.Khan said, "Wendy Sherman is visiting the country at a time which is important for the course of politics in Bangladesh."Three city polls were held. The mystery behind these elections was solved already by the media, which has unmasked the truth. These issues were discussed during Khaleda Zia's meeting with Sherman."Asked about what Sherman said about the Apr 28 polls, the senior BNP leader said, "The (US) embassy generally issues statements about what they discussed and what they will say.""We won't say anything about this (Sherman's remarks). The United States has already expressed its concern about the city polls," he added.Wendy Sherman came to Dhaka on Thursday to attend the fourth two-day US-Bangladesh partnership dialogue. She left for the US on Friday evening.The dialogue that has been organised each year since 2012 is aimed at advancing "the robust and growing bilateral relationship and provide it a strategic direction".Prior to her meeting with Khaleda, the US under secretary of state met Leader of the Opposition in Parliament Raushon Ershad at her Gulshan residence.The Awami League-backed candidates had swept the fraud-marred Dhaka North, Dhaka South and Chittagong city corporation elections.Its main rival, the BNP, boycotted the elections halfway through the polling alleging gross irregularities by the ruling party supporters.After the polls, the UN, the US, the UK and the EU had called for impartial investigations into the allegations of large-scale irregularities.

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