The European Union (EU) on Wednesday expressed hope that Bangladesh will hold a democratic, credi-ble, peaceful and participatory election.
“We hope a democratic, credible, peaceful and participatory election will be held in Bangladesh,” EU Ambassador to Bangladesh Charles Whiteley said.
He was talking to reporters after leading a 10-member delegation of European Union’s Missions in Bangladesh at a meeting with Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Habibul Awal and his colleagues at Nirbachan Bhaban in the capital.
The diplomats of seven Dhaka-based EU member states were present.
The EU ambassador said they had a good, open and extensive discussion with the Election Commission over the electoral preparations.
“We’ve a very wide range of exchange on preparation to the election,” he said.
Later, the Chief Election Commissioner talked to reporters and said they are trying their best to ensure a free, fair, peaceful and credible election.
“As we did in the past, we clearly told them (EU team) that we continue our best efforts so that the elec-tion would be free, fair, peaceful and credible,” he said.
He said the EC has already come a long way in the preparations for January 7 parliamentary vote.
The country’s main opposition BNP and its allies have refused to take part in the election saying it will be rigged by the ruling Awami League.
The opposition demands that the government resigns and transfer power to a neutral caretaker admin-istration to oversee the polls, a demand rejected by AL.
The CEC said they gave them a clear understanding that the EC is constitutionally obliged to hold the election within the stipulated time.
“I believe that they understood our limitations. If there is any dispute and division in the political arena, we can no way intervene into it,” he said.
Meanwhile, one of the diplomats who attended the meeting said, “Frank and detailed exchange with the Chief Election Commissioner and his team on the prospects of holding free, fair, participatory, and peaceful elections. We as diplomats wanted to understand the process and preparations being made.”
The EU delegation members include Dr. Bernd Spanier, deputy head of mission, EU Delegation to Bangladesh, Sebastian Riger-Brown, political officer, EU Delegation to Bangladesh, Swedish Ambassa-dor to Bangladesh Alexandra Berg Von Linde, Spanish Ambassador Francisco de Asís Benítez Salas, Italian Ambassador Antonio Alessandro, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Netherlands Irma van Due-ren, Ambassador of Denmark Christian Brix Møller, Deputy Head of Mission at the French Embassy Gillaume Audren de Kerdrel, Deputy Head of Mission, Chargé d’Affaires at Embassy of Germany Jan Janowski.