The year 2023 brings laurals for Bangladesh despite concern over fair polls


City Desk :

With “successes” in its basket in the outgoing year 2023, Bangladesh looks forward to a free and fair election next month and will explore ways to deal with whatever challenges it might face in the post-election period, officials said this week.

The government sees Bangladesh’s multiple wins in a number of global forums in the outgoing year as success stories but remains prepared to face any situation if there is any problem during the election that will be watched closely by the international community, reports UNB.

“Why should we think of something negative at the beginning? There is a commitment from the highest level to hold a free and fair election and the Election Commission is working hard.

We are all working. We are expecting that there will be a good election,” said Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen.

If there is problem during the polls, he said, they will deal with it at that time. “At this moment, we are not thinking that polls will not be free and fair. Why should we worry in advance?” Masud Momen said the election will be observed by a big team from the Commonwealth, there are election expert teams from the European Union and NDI-IRI.

“We hope people will cast their votes in a festive environment.” “Despite all these in place, if the issue of further sanctions comes, we have to face that. I do not see any reason to become restless and get panicked at this moment, he said.

The foreign secretary said there will be some problems always and they will have to move on.

“There is really nothing to worry so much about what a country thinks or does if we ourselves remain right, if we can make the election fair, if the voters cast their vote…. We don’t want conflict in the election.


Yet in past experience we have seen conflict locally. There will be efforts to reduce it,” he said. Masud said they are concentrating on how they can help the Election Commission to hold free and fair polls. “We are committed to holding a free and fair election.

That’s our focus. If there isany problem, we will face that.”

He said they want peace and stability the way the foreign friends want. “We want to follow a peaceful process. Bangladesh is always for peace.”

Responding to a question, the foreign secretary said Bangladesh is not holding election to satisfy any foreigner but for its constitutional obligation, government’s continuity and people will vote if theywant to vote.

He said what a particular country is thinking of or whether any particular country recognises the polls or not are irrelevant. The foreign secretary mentioned Saima Wazed’s win as Regional Director of WHO South East Asia Regional Organization as one of the many success stories.

The newly elected regional director will take office on February 1, 2024 for a five-year term. The nomination will be submitted for appointment by the 154th session of the WHO Executive Board, which takes place from January 22 to27, 2024 in Geneva, Switzerland.

The foreign secretary also mentioned Bangladesh’s win in the 175-member International Maritime Organization (IMO) council election 2023 held in London at the IMO headquarters in category C, securing128 votes as a success story.

This is the first time Bangladesh has won the election in the highly competitive category C of the IMO. The government says Bangladesh’s election to the International Maritime Organisation’s elite 40-member council is a testimony of the confidence and trust that the IMO member states and the international maritime community place on Bangladesh’s leadership as a maritime nation and action led by the prudent leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.