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Bangladesh - March 12, 2023

BNP won’t join polls under current govt

Party delegation tells EU envoys

Staff Correspondent: BNP had a closed-door meeting with the diplomats of the European Union (EU) countries in Bangladesh yesterday where the party leaders told the envoys that their party will not go to the elections under the current government.
“Like the people of Bangladesh, all democratic countries have been closely observing Bangladesh’s current situation and the atmosphere for the next election,” BNP standing committee member Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury told reporters after the meeting.
Replying to a question, the BNP leader said they clearly told the EU envoys that their party will not go to the elections under the current government.
He said EU countries are trying to look at Bangladesh’s current democratic and human rights situation, the rule of law, human rights, freedom of speech, and media freedom.
“Especially, as there is an apprehension about the next election both in the country and beyond, they (EU naturally has a view on the matter. From that point of view, we had our discussion yesterday (Sunday).”
The one and a half–hour meeting was held at ABC House in Gulshan where the ambassadors of France, Italy, Sweden, Germany, Spain, Norway and the Netherlands, led by EU Ambassador to Bangladesh Charles Whiteley, were present.
BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir led a four-member BNP delegation at the meeting. The other delegation members are Amir Khosru, BNP Organising Secretary Shama Obaed and Human Rights Affairs Secretary Advocate Asaduzzaman.
Asked what they discussed about the next election, Khosur said they talked about how the electoral system in Bangladesh has collapsed as an ‘illegal’ government has been in power ‘snatching’ the right to vote of the country’s people.
He said the foreign countries are also fearing that Bangladesh will fall into a crisis if the people of the country cannot exercise their right to vote in the next election. “From this apprehension, they (European Union) want to know how the next election is going to be held and how to make it neutral and participatory.”
He said those countries of the world are closely observing Bangladesh they clearly know that the people of this country will not be able to exercise their right to vote and elect their representatives, government and parliament under the current “usurper regime”. “They (EU countries) are aware of this fact and they also know the reasons behind it.”

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