Wednesday, March 22, 2023

    Hasan Mahmud: Bangladesh needs no UN help to hold elections

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    Election Commission of Bangladesh is very strong, the minister claims

    Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud has said Bangladesh needs no assistance from the United Nations to arrange elections since the country’s Election Commission is capable enough of holding fair and transparent polls.

    “The Election Commission of Bangladesh is very strong, and I don’t think it needs anyone’s help to hold elections,” he said on Monday.
    The minister made the comments at a program arranged by the Bangladesh Secretariat Reporters Forum when journalists sought his reaction to remarks by UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh Mia Seppo on UN assistance in holding elections in Bangladesh.

    Stating that the EC had already conducted many elections in Bangladesh in a very fair and transparent manner, Dr Hasan Mahmud said: “Bangladesh is not Somalia or Ethiopia that it needs the UN’s help to hold elections.”

    He, however, said it was completely a different issue if anyone wanted to observe elections in Bangladesh. “But the Election Commission doesn’t need any assistance to conduct elections.”

    On Sunday, Mia Seppo said the UN would provide electoral assistance to Bangladesh only if there was any request on that particular front.
    Responding to questions at “DCAB Talk” at the Foreign Service Academy, she also said: “The UN doesn’t provide electoral assistance unless we’re asked to.”

    Meanwhile, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir has said the next national election must be held under a neutral and non-partisan government.

    He urged the government to take necessary steps to create an atmosphere conducive to constituting a neutral election commission.

    On the other hand, Awami League General Secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister said a new Election Commission would be formed as per the law.

    He said the outgoing EC had been constituted at the call of the president through a search committee after discussions with all registered political partie,s including the BNP.

    “The Election Commission will be formed in all acceptable ways this time too,” he added.

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