UN for inclusive, peaceful, credible poll

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Staff Reporter :
The United Nations wants to see the upcoming 12th Parliamentary Election inclusive, peaceful and credible election so that voters can exercise their rights of franchise freely without any intimidation.

Stephane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General of the United Nations made the remarks during a press briefing in the UN Headquarters on Friday in response to the question from a journalist.

The journalist asked that both the United Nations and the United States want to see inclusive election in Bangladesh. Around 3,000 candidates submitted their nomination papers.

Is it sufficient to say that Bangladesh is going to hold a participatory election the next month? “What I’ve said to you before and I think to some other Bangladeshi reporters that for the Secretary-General, it is very important that the elections that are coming up are… that all those who are participating, all the stakeholders, the people, the parties, the media, all do whatever they can to promote peaceful, inclusive, and credible electoral process,” the Spokesperson said.

Drawing attention to the ruling party’s complain that few parties, including BNP, are trying to create anarchy in the public life, in the name of strike and blockade since Oct 28, the spokesperson was asked – does the UN have any advice for this kind of isolated political programme -Stephane Dujarric said, “Our advice, not to repeat myself, is that everyone involved in elections, government, opposition, journalists, civil society, all work together to ensure elections where people can express themselves freely, where people can vote freely and that the inclusive elections be inclusive and peaceful.”

Both the UN and the US have been urging the government of Bangladesh for a free, fair and participatory election, but BNP, the largest opposition party, has boycotted the 12th Parliamentary Poll.

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After the submission of the nomination papers on Nov 30, it was found that the parliamentary election is featuring candidates from the Awami League, whether endorsed by the party or running independently from the same party as dummy candidates.

Though the ruling party is claiming that 30 political parties have contested the poll, but on Thursday, the 39 political parties, including BNP in a joint meeting in the capital had announced to boycott the ‘farcical’ election.

BNP and some other parties have boycotted the polls because they want the election to be held under a caretaker government with the dissolution of the Parliament to create a level playing field for a free, fair and peaceful election.

But the ruling party said that they would not budge an inch from the current framework of the Constitution which has enshrined that the election would be held under the incumbent government, what the BNP opposes.

The political and election analysts said that the one-sided election would not bring any positive outcome like the 2014 parliamentary election, while the US pressure on the election is mounting.