Tuesday, May 21, 2024

EU envoys advise against sending polls observers

European Union ambassadors in Dhaka have recommended to its Brussels headquarters that no international observers should be sent to monitor the forthcoming elections in Bangladesh, New Age has learnt. In a report sent on Monday to the EU political and security committee, the Dhaka-based ambassadors stated that the election due to be held on January 5 was ‘not credible,’ particularly in light of the fact that over a half of all members of parliament had, in effect, already been elected unopposed without a vote.
‘Until Friday, there were some European missions who took a legalistic approach, arguing that observers should come and monitor the election as it was taking place in line with the constitution, and only after monitoring the election, the EU could then make a decision about its credibility,’ one senior diplomat told New Age.
‘However, after we learnt that 154 seats were unopposed, it was agreed that the criteria of credibility in the elections had gone.… When over half the voters in the country have no right to vote, you cannot call this a general election,’ the diplomat added.
Another diplomat from a different EU mission confirmed that the report contained a recommendation that election observers should not be sent.
‘[EU] Headquarters asked us to write a report on the elections for consideration of the political and security committee,’ the second diplomat said. ‘The report says that there is not much use in observing the elections, they lack credibility.’
The diplomat was, however, not willing to set out other recommendations made in the report to the PSC which sat on Tuesday in Brussels.
‘This was the most immediate matter that required consideration from Brussels,’ the diplomat said.
The political and security committee, which sat on Tuesday, comprises ambassadors from all EU countries and meets once or twice a week.
According to the diplomats, the PSC will either have made a decision on Tuesday or if there was some disagreement between the ambassadors, the issue would have been sent back to the capitals for consideration at a ministerial level.
It is likely that a decision will be publicly announced by the end of the week.
One of the diplomats said that on January 6 next year, the day after the election, the EU will start to ‘reconsider its relationship with Bangladesh’ which ‘automatically takes place as the country has not held credible elections.’
He explained that the EU has different relationships with countries from those that they consider to be democratic states, like Bangladesh has been since 1990, and countries that they view as rogue states.
‘[After the January 5 election] Bangladesh will be somewhere in between, and we have to see what privileges they have been receiving in the past which they now could lose,’ the diplomat said.
The EU, whose membership includes most Western and some Eastern European Countries and which has nine missions in Dhaka including the EU delegation itself, has political, economic and development relationships with Bangladesh.
Both the diplomats said that the removal of Bangladesh’s access to generalised system of preferences, which offers the country’s exporters tariff reductions, could well be part of the EU’s post-election thinking about Bangladesh although they were aware how its removal could hit Bangladeshi people, rather than levering any change from political leaders.
The European Union did not respond to a formal request for comment for this article.
The United States has not yet announced whether it will be sending election monitors through the International Republican Institute.
In January 2007, two days after the EU had publicly announced that it was recalling its monitors from observing the election that was due to take place later that month, the country’s president proclaimed a state of emergency which lasted almost two years.
The diplomats were speaking a day after reports in some newspapers claimed that EU ambassadors had snubbed attending Victory day programme at Saver on Monday.
A EU diplomat, however, told New Age that this was a ‘big misunderstanding’ and there had been no snub.
He said that in 2011, the organisation of the event had not been handled well and EU ambassadors had some security concerns. As a result in 2012, the ambassadors did not go to Savar but they did attend the presidential reception later that day.
‘We just did the same thing this year,’ the diplomat said.

Courtesy of New Age

Related News

Bangladeshi mountaineer Babar Ali conquers Everest

News Desk : dhakamirror.com Babar Ali from Chattogram has summited Mount Everest and raised the red and green flag on the world’s highest peak. He reached the summit at 8:30am local time (8:45am Bangladesh time) on Sunday, proudly raising the red and green flag of Bangladesh. He began his journey on 1 April, after necessary ... Read more

Price of gold increases by Tk1,178 per bhori

The new rate will be effective from Sunday (19 May) News Desk : dhakamirror.com The Bangladesh Jewellers Association (Bajus) today (18 May) increased the price of gold by Tk1,178 per bhori, followed by a price hike in the local bullion market. According to a Bajus statement, 22-carat gold will now cost Tk1,18,460 per bhori (11.664 ... Read more

9 Bangladeshis named in Forbes “30 Under 30 Asia” list

News Desk : dhakamirror.com Nine Bangladeshis have been named in Forbes “30 Under 30 Asia” list for their contributions across various industries. Forbes announced its prestigious “30 Under 30 Asia” list for the ninth consecutive year yesterday (15 May), showcasing 300 exceptional young individuals under the age of 30 who are making significant strides across ... Read more

SC Stays HC Verdict On Condemn Cell

News Desk : dhakamirror.com The Appellate Division on Wednesday stayed a High Court verdict that asked the jail authorities not to put death sentence inmates in the solidarity confinement before the end of all legal processes. The Appellate Division judge in chamber, Justice M Enayetur Rahim, granted the stay after hearing an appeal filed by ... Read more

BRTA to take ‘no helmet, no fuel’ policy for bikers

News Desk : dhakamirror.com Besides, no battery-run auto-rickshaws will be allowed to operate in Dhaka The Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) has decided to take a “no helmet, no fuel” approach for motorcycle riders across the country. Besides, no battery-run auto-rickshaws will be allowed to operate in Dhaka, according to decisions taken at a meeting ... Read more

MV Abdullah finally arrives at Ctg port

News Desk : dhakamirror.com The 23 crew members of Bangladeshi flag carrier MV Abdullah, which was recently freed from the captivity of Somali pirates, has reached the Chittagong Port today (14 May). The Chittagong Port Authority has a reception at the New Mooring Container Terminal (NCT) to welcome back the sailors. Their family members are ... Read more

JnU female student gets 5 yrs in DSA case

News Desk : dhakamirror.com A Dhaka tribunal has sentenced Tithy Sarker, a suspended student of Jagannath University, to five years imprisonment in a DSA case filed for making derogatory comments about religion on Facebook. However, it has granted her a year-long probation on eight conditions, including regular care for her aged father, following traffic rules, ... Read more

Detention in condemned cells before final disposal of the case unlawful: High Court

News Desk : dhakamirror.com The High Court (HC) has ruled that it is illegal and unlawful to detain convicts in the condemned cell (blind cell) of the prison before the death sentence is finalised by the verdict of the Supreme Court’s Appellate Division. The High Court bench of Justice Sheikh Hasan Arif and Justice Md ... Read more

Patient dies after being stuck in lift at Gazipur hospital

News Desk : dhakamirror.com A patient of Gazipur Shaheed Tajuddin Ahmed Medical College Hospital has died after getting stuck in a lift for about 45 minutes today (12 May) morning. The deceased was identified as Momtaz Begum, 53, wife of Sharfuddin of Raniganj Barigaon village in Kapasia upazila of Gazipur. Citing family members, the Hospital’s ... Read more

SSC 2024: Girls outshine boys in pass rate, GPA-5

News Desk : dhakamirror.com A total 1,82,129 students achieved GPA 5 in this year’s Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and equivalent examinations. Of them, 98,776 were girls and 83,353 boys. Results for the 2024 Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and equivalent examinations are out, and just like last year, girls have outperformed boys in both the pass ... Read more

2024 SSC, equivalent exam results published

News Desk : dhakamirror.com The results of this year’s Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and equivalent exams have been published today. According to the education board website, the pass rate of Dhaka board is 83.92%, while it is 89.25% in Rajshahi board, 79.20% in Cumilla board, 89.13% in Barishal board, 82.80% in Chattogram board, 78.40% in ... Read more

How to get your 2024 SSC results on May 12

News Desk : dhakamirror.com Results of Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and equivalent exams will be published tomorrow, Sunday. Earlier, the education ministry declared the date, 12 May, through a press release. The candidates can get their results online or through SMS after 11:00am on that day. To get the results under general boards through SMS, ... Read more

SSC, equivalent exam results tomorrow

News Desk : dhakamirror.com The results of the Secondary School Certificate and equivalent examinations of 2024 will be published tomorrow. Education Minister Mohibul Hassan Chowdhury Nowfel, along with ministry officials and board chairmen, is expected to hand over the results to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the morning. The education minister is scheduled to publish ... Read more

Mango harvest hits in Satkhira

Price doubled compared to last year News Desk : dhakamirror.com Freshly harvested mangoes have started hitting the markets in Satkhira. Many mango varieties, including Golapkhas, Sarikhas, Gopalbhog, Bombay, and other local types were available at Boro Bazar, one of the largest mango markets in the district. Nevertheless, the price has doubled compared to last year ... Read more

bKash communications chief Mahfuz Sadique dies at 40

News Desk : dhakamirror.com Mahfuz Sadique, chief communications officer of mobile financial services firm bKash, passed away in Bangladesh capital Dhaka Friday morning. He was 40. Mahfuz died around 9:00am while undergoing treatment at a hospital in the capital, bKash said in a statement. Mahfuz, who began his career as a journalist at New Age, ... Read more

Prices for potatoes increase by 229% from the previous year

Prices for potatoes varied from Tk16 to Tk22 per kg at this time last year. News Desk : dhakamirror.com Despite the presence of both new and old potatoes in the market, potato prices have soared by 229% compared to late December last year. According to the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB), the selling price for ... Read more

LGED engineer dead, UNO among 3 injured in Panchagarh car crash

News Desk : dhakamirror.com An engineer of the Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) was killed and three other government officials were injured when the vehicle of a UNO hit a roadside tree in Panchagarh Sadar upazila early today. The deceased was identified as Abu Sayed, 33, upazila engineer of LGED from Pirganj upazila of Thakurgaon. ... Read more

UNHCR calls for rescue of Rohingyas stranded in Andaman Sea

News Desk : dhakamirror.com The United Nations (UN) Refugee Agency, UNHCR, has made an urgent appeal to all countries in the region, particularly those in the area surrounding the Andaman Sea, to swiftly deploy their full search and rescue capacities in response to reported vessels in distress with hundreds of Rohingya at risk of perishing. ... Read more

Over 200 RMG workers injured in Comilla while evacuating factory during earthquake

News Desk : dhakamirror.com Over two hundred garment workers in Cumilla’s Chauddagram have been injured while trying to evacuate the factory building of Amir Shirt Garment Limited during today’s earthquake. A 5.5 magnitude earthquake at a depth of 10km jolted Dhaka, and parts of the country at 9:35am today (2 December). The epicentre of the ... Read more

Daughter hacked father to death in Chattogram

News Desk : dhakamirror.com A father was hacked to death by his own daughter during an altercation over a trivial matter at Lohagara upazila in Chattogram on Friday (1 December). The deceased was identified as Abdur Rahman, 50, of Putibila Sarai village under the upazila. Police have detained the daughter, Humaira Begum, 23, soon after ... Read more