News Desk: US Ambassador to Bangladesh Peter Haas on Wednesday reiterated his country’s expectation to see a free and participatory election in Bangladesh with people’s participation.
“The US doesn’t care who wins the election and we just want an election where the people of Bangladesh can choose their leaders,” he told reporters after a meeting with Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Habibul Awal at the Nirbahchan Bhaban in the city’s Agargaon area.
He said it is the job of the Election Commission and entire Bangladeshi society to ensure a credible election and absolutely not a job of the USA.
Ambassador Haas said it requires participation of not only the EC but the government, political parties, media, NGOs and most importantly Bangladeshi people.
He, however, said the EC plays an extremely important role in the whole election process in order to hold free and fair elections consistent with the international standard.
Later, CEC Awal said that first of all the USA had no message about the election in Bangladesh.
“It was a courtesy call. He (Haas) welcomed me as the new CEC and wished me success in all cases,” the CEC said.
In reply to a question, Awal said that they did not actually discuss much about the upcoming national election.
“I said that our election is not as smooth as in America. There is a little turbulence here. We are ready. We hope that we will get cooperation from all the stakeholders and the election will be successful,” he said.
Noting that the Election Commission will make its effort to make the election a fair one, he said, “The election will be much more transparent than before, if possible.”
The commission will install CCTV cameras at the polling stations in the election to strengthen surveillance, the CEC said, adding that he hoped that the government would also help the commission.
He hoped a consensus might be reached among the political parties and they will understand the reality.
“I’ve spoken about participatory elections,” the CEC said, adding that the US expects to see free, fair and participatory elections.
Awal said he told the US diplomat that the commission would sit with the parties and expressed hope that a way would be found finally for a participatory election.