DHAKA– Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday expressed
her firm confidence that the Election Commission (EC) would be able to hold
an inclusive, fair and neutral general election by the end of this year.
The Prime Minister said this when German Minister of State for Foreign
Affairs Niels Annen made a courtesy call on her at her Gonobhaban residence
Briefing reporters after the meeting, PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim
said the Prime Minister expressed her firm confidence that the EC with
support of all political parties, administration and other stakeholders would
be able to hold an inclusive, fair and neutral general election.
During the meeting, Karim said, they discussed the issues of
socioeconomic development of Bangladesh, upcoming election, Rohingyas and
cooperation in various sectors between the two countries.
“Our Election Commission is absolutely independent and they have already
conducted more than 6,000 polls at national and local levels. There was no
question about the neutrality of those elections as sometimes we have won and
sometimes they (opposition) have won,” the Press Secretary quoted the Prime
Minister as saying.
Sheikh Hasina said her party has the history of long struggle for
restoration of democracy in Bangladesh, which frequently suffered for
military rule. The military rulers have destroyed the country’s democratic
system and institutions, she added.
Niels Annen said it is his first visit to Bangladesh and he enjoyed the
beauty of the country’s landscape from aircraft.
He also expressed satisfaction over strong and friendly relations of his
country with Bangladesh.
The German Minister apprised the Prime Minister of the development of e-
passport project and signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for its
The Prime Minister expressed satisfaction over the progress of the
project being implemented by a German company, Veridos gmbh.
Niels Annen highly appreciated impressive socioeconomic development of
Bangladesh under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. In this
regard, he pointed out long tradition of vocational education of German,
saying they can share their experience with Bangladesh.
Sheikh Hasina said the forcibly displaced Rohingyas were given shelter
here on humanitarian ground.
“But, now they outnumbered local people and have been issued identity card
after registration. Bangladesh wants a peaceful resolution of the Rohingya
problem,” she said.
The German Foreign Minister said his government will continue to support
Bangladesh for Rohingyas. “Rohingyas are immense pressure on the government,”
The Prime Minister recalled her visit to Germany and invited German
Chancellor Angela Markel to visit Bangladesh at her time of convenience.
PM’s Principal Secretary Md Nozibur Rahman, Chief Coordinator on SDG
Affairs Abul Kalam Azad, Military Secretary Major General Mia Md Zainul
Abedin, Bangladesh Ambassador to Germany Imtiaz Ahmed and German Ambassador
in Dhaka Dr Thomas Prinz were present.