London: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday requested the Commonwealth to send diversified elec-tion observers from different member countries for the upcoming general election in Bangladesh.
She made the request while the Commonwealth Secretary General Baroness Patricia Scotland called on the visiting prime minister her at the Claridge Hotel here.
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen briefed the reporters after the call on.
He said that the prime minister raised the issue of election and made the request for diversified election observers from various Commonwealth countries.
In reply, Patricia Scotland said that the Commonwealth is ready to help Bangladesh in holding the elec-tion, according to Momen.
She said that In many Commonwealth countries they made the same arrangement where all political par-ties express their commitment that they will participate in the election, and what they want for making the polls fair.
“If they do not win in the election, they must accept it,” Momen quoted her as saying.
She also said that the political parties will pledge that they will not go for violence.
“All political parties will express their commitment for free and fair election,” she said.
Momen said that Bangladesh government also wants that.
“All political parties will make their political commitment,” he added.
The Commonwealth secretary general said that the political parties will make their public commitment where they will say that they will participate in the election, will do everything for ensuring fair and non-violent election.
“They want to help us,” Momen said adding, “We said of course.”
PM Hasina requested them to impart training to the Election Commission officers in the district level like they did in the past.
Hasina asked them to hold meetings with the Election Commission as it is now independent.
The prime minister informed the Commonwealth that her government has taken a number of steps to strengthen the Election Commission and ensured voting rights in the country.
She mentioned that apart from ruling Awami League all other major political parties of the country orig-inated from the cantonment, after grabbing state power illegally.
“Awami League is the only political party that belongs to the people and has always upheld the country’s democratic process,” she said.
PM’s speechwriter M Nazrul Islam and Bangladesh High Commissioner to the UK Saida Muna Tasneem were also present in the briefing.
Apart from the election, artificial intelligence, climate, mental health and digital connectivity were prominently discussed in the meeting, Momen said.
The Premier has expressed her desire that Bangladesh wanted to lead artificial intelligence committee of Commonwealth from June next as the country is now leading the Commonwealth’s business to business event, he said.
He went on saying that the Commonwealth Secretary General has agreed to the matter.