Staff Reporter : Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Kazi Habibul Awal has replied to the European Union’s (EU) letter.
Election Commissioner Md Ahasan Habib Khan informed the newsmen on Sunday saying that in the letter CEC further said that the EC is getting all sorts of support and facilities from the government and other stakeholders and its continuation will help organise a free, fair and acceptable election.
Source said in the letter Kazi Habibul Awal stated, ” I want to assure you that the government is open minded to provide all kind of assistance to the EC as what we demanded.
I believe that the government stance will help the EC hold a participatory and credible polls whose will meet the government promise about election.
The EC expects the support of the EU in ensuring that the next general elections are free, fair, participatory and credible.
Recently in a letter sent to him by the EU confirming that it would not send a full-fledged observation mission for Bangladesh’s upcoming national election, Awal also assured that the Election Commission would do its utmost to ensure that the polls held under it are free, fair, participatory and credible.
“Nevertheless, observation by local and foreign observers may help add credence to the status of fairness of election so as to make that credible at home and abroad,” he said in the letter dated 23 September.
“Be that as it may, I believe the European Union [EU] will nonetheless continue to support, in whatever way deemed expedient, our efforts in making the ensuing general parliamentary elections free, fair, participatory and credible,” the letter added.
On the issue of the US visa restriction, Election Commissioner Ahsan Habib said, “It is a matter of the country that has done it and the government of that country.
We have nothing to say here. We will conduct elections according to the constitution.”
The EU had communicated its decision to the EC through a letter to the CEC on Wednesday.
“Based on the recommendations of the exploratory mission — and taking into consideration the budget for EU Election Observation Missions for 2023/2024 — High Representative Josep Borrell has decided not to deploy a fully-fledged EU Election Observation Mission,” read the EU letter.
Following the EU’s decision, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal on Friday said it was not the government’s concern whether foreign election observers would come or not during the upcoming national election of Bangladesh.
He was echoed by Information Minister Hasan Mahmud who reiterated that the elections would be free, fair and impartial whether the foreign observers came or not.
The decision, however, did not sit well with the BNP.
In a reaction, the party’s standing committee member Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury said on Thursday the EU had decided not to send a team as there was “no scope to hold an election in the country without a neutral government.”