London: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has once again said that her country’s upcoming gen-eral election will be free and fair.
She made it clear during a meeting with UK Foreign Minister James Cleverly on Saturday said that Brit-ain wants to see a fair national election in Bangladesh in the coming days.
Bangladesh is likely to hold the next general election either end this year or early next year.
Cleverly called on Hasina at the Claridge Hotel where the visiting prime minister is staying on her offi-cial UK visit.
Hasina urged cooperation from all to make the next polls free and fair, according to Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen who briefed the media after the meeting.
“We want a fair election to be held. My party has always maintained democracy in the country. We have given the country’s democracy a strong footing,” she said.
The PM further said that her government is committed to holding a fair election which requires partici-pation of all.
“I want cooperation from all to hold a fair election,” Hasina said.
She stated that the AL government had done everything required to hold a fair election. She mentioned introduction of a voter list with photographs of voters and making ballot boxes transparent so that none can manipulate the vote.
“We have created a strong state of democracy in Bangladesh,” she said.
On the contrary the BNP during its rule had prepared a voter list with 1.23 crore fake voters for rigging votes, she said.
“We have made the Election Commission (EC) as independent and powerful enough alongside bringing institutional frameworks to hold a fair election,” she said.
The Prime Minister said they believe in Westminster like democracy following which Bangladesh has introduced a question-answer session in the Parliament.
During the talks, several bilateral issues like climate change, trade and commerce alongside the Rohing-yas came up prominently, Momen said.
The UK foreign minister highly praised the humanitarian role of Bangladesh premier in sheltering a huge number of Rohingyas in Bangladesh.
“Britain will remain beside Bangladesh for quick repatriation of Rohingyas,” Cleverly said.
Momen said the British government introduced a resolution before the UN Security Council on the Roh-ingya issue and played an effective role for its adoption.
Cleverly also expressed his gratitude towards Bangladesh premier for joining the coronation of King Charles III.
Hasina said Bangladesh has a very good relationship with the UK since Father of the Nation Banga-bandhu Sheikh Mujibur arrived in London after being released from the Pakistani jail after the country’s independence and was warmly received there.
“Relations between Bangladesh and the UK is very deep-rooted and it has been increasing….. and the relationship has been strengthened over the years,” Cleverly said.
He lauded the economic advancement of Bangladesh under the dynamic leadership of Hasina.
Bangladesh prime minister has highly praised the late Queen Elizabeth II recalling that the Queen had always inquired about her and her younger sister Sheikh Rehana.
Foreign Minister Momen said Hasina had interactions with King Charles III during the Commonwealth Leaders’ Event while the Bangladesh premier invited the king to visit Bangladesh to which he replied positively.
PM’s Private Industry and Investment Adviser Salman Fazlur Rahman, State Minister for Foreign Af-fairs Md Shahriar Alam, PM’s Principal Secretary Md Tofazzel Hossain Miah, Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen, PM’s Speechwriter M Nazrul Islam and Bangladesh High Commissioner to the UK Saida Muna Tasneem were present at the briefing.