Jim Bates, former US congressman, an election observer from the US, has described the 12th National Parliamentary Election as “free and fair.”
“I’d like to say it’s a free and fair election already,” he told reporters yesterday.
“The thing they keep talking about is low turnout: that’s a misnomer. In some countries, voting goes on till 5/6 pm or even months,” he added.
“So when they say ‘low turnout,’ that’s something to maneuver the press,” Bates said.
Jim Bates is an American former politician who served as a Democratic elected official from San Diego, California. He served four terms in the United States House of Representatives from 1983 to 1991. He was the first congressman to be disciplined for sexual harassment.
Foreign observers visited several centers yesterday.
“At this point, it looks peaceful. Hopefully that will remain the case throughout the day,” said another observer.
Around 127 foreign observers are currently in Dhaka to observe the 12th National Parliamentary Elec-tion.
Chief Electoral Officer of Palestine Hisham Kuhali on Sunday said Bangladeshis people should be proud of electoral procedures that are in place and expressed satisfaction over the smooth completion of the vote casting.
“We noticed quiet and peaceful election. We have not noticed any sign of violence,” he told reporters at a media briefing at a Dhaka hotel.
Kuhali said the procedures of casting votes were very simple and straightforward.
“This is very good by international standards,” he said, referring to time it takes to cast a vote.
The international observer said people are well informed and well trained who are helping voters to cast their votes.
Asked about the voters’ turnout, he said, “We are here to judge the voting procedures. You should be proud of your process.”
In a separate briefing, Head of the Russian election monitoring delegation Andrey Y Shuvot said they are satisfied with the peaceful elections.
These elections are legitimate,” he told reporters.
Scottish MP Martyn Day in his brief remarks, said the elections were fairly smooth, but voters’ turnout was relatively low.
Member of Arab Parliament Abdihakim Moalliam described the elections as “smooth” conducted in a very efficient way.
He appreciated the democratic exercise in Bangladesh, noting that it was a shining example of peace and unity.