Weekly The Generation, Year 1, Issue 14
December 05, 2023
Dhaka: The US says it will continue to engage with the government, opposition, civil society, and other stakeholders to ensure free and fair elections.
Washington has renewed its call for free and fair elections in Bangladesh while refraining from any discussion about the potential outcome of the upcoming national polls.
“I’m not going to speculate on the outcome of the elections,” Matthew Miller, a US State Department spokesperson, said during a media briefing in Washington on Monday.
Asked about Washington’s assessment of the current political climate in Bangladesh in light of the arrests of numerous opposition leaders, Miller reiterated the US’s desire for a peaceful electoral process.
“I will say what we have said a number of times before, which is we will continue to engage with the government, opposition, civil society, and other stakeholders to urge them to work together for the benefit of the Bangladeshi people to ensure free and fair elections that are conducted in a peaceful manner.”
As the Jan 7 polls draw near, political tensions in Bangladesh are escalating. The BNP, the country’s largest opposition group, has enforced a series of shutdowns and blockades to press for the institution of a neutral election-time government.
The party has refused to take part in the elections with the Awami League government at the helm. However, many of its leaders have defected to other parties in a bid to contest the elections.
As many as 2,711 aspirants have submitted their nomination papers to the Election Commission ahead of the elections, with 29 registered parties fielding candidates.