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Election 2018 Views with diplomats over election environ exchanged

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Staff Reporter
Leaders of major political parties, civil society members and election observers on Wednesday exchanged views with some diplomats over the next general election atmosphere.
Canada and National Democratic Institute (NDI) jointly arranged the program at a city hotel where diplomats from Australia, Sweden, Norway, Japan, Canada and some other countries were present.
The closed-door meeting that began around 8:30 am continued for around two hours.
Talking to reporters after the meeting, Prime Minister's Political Affairs Adviser HT Imam said they discussed various issues relating to the 11th parliamentary elections.
"Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is doing everything necessary for a fair election. There're some problems over holding a fair election, and we're trying to resolve those," he added.
HT Imam thinks the political parties and the media need to cooperate with the Election Commission (EC) in holding a credible election.
BNP standing committee member Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury said they talked about the necessary steps that should be taken for ensuring an acceptable election.
He said their party and alliance joined the election though the EC could not ensure a level-playing field. "We hope the Election Commission will take necessary measures in the days to come to ensure a neutral election."
Awami League joint general secretary Dr Dipu Moni said they discussed how the election can be held in a bat-ter way.
She said the government is providing the Election Commission with all-out cooperation so that it can arrange the election independently exercising its constitutional authorities.
Civil society body Broti CEO Sharmin Murshid said it was a very important discussion as all the election stakeholders participated in it. "We hope such discussions will help reduce tension and instability, and pave the way for holding a credible election."
Former election commissioner Brig Gen (retd) M Sakhawat Hussain said Bangladesh has many outstanding achievements. "These achievements can fade away if the election is not held in a fair and credible manner."
Prime Minister's Foreign Affairs Adviser Dr Gowher Rizvi, BNP chairperson's adviser Reaz Rahman, Bikolpa Dhara Bangladesh presidium member Shamsher Mobin Chowdhury and Sujon secretary Badiul Alam Majumd-er were, among others, present.