Tuesday, May 21, 2024

EU for genuine talks to hold inclusive polls

China, S Korea urge stability
People of Bangladesh were not given an opportunity to fully express their democratic choice in the elections on January 5, the European Union said, calling upon all the parties to engage in genuine dialogue to agree on a mutually acceptable way to hold inclusive and credible polls. The powerful bloc of 28 European nations has also condemned violence in the lead up to and during elections as well as attacks on religious and ethnic minorities.
“The High Representative has taken note of the preliminary results and of reports of low turnout for the 10th Parliamentary elections held in Bangladesh on 5 January,” said a statement issued by EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton on Thursday. “The High Representative strongly condemns the acts of violence which occurred in the run-up to and during the elections and particularly attacks against the most vulnerable populations, including women and children as well as religious and ethnic minorities. She regrets the loss of life and extends her condolences to the families of the victims,” it said.
The statement further said, “As part of our bilateral relations, the EU has consistently engaged with Bangladesh to support the consolidation of democracy. In this context, the EU has repeatedly called on all parties to create favourable conditions for transparent, inclusive and credible elections.
“The High Representative, therefore, regrets the fact that such conditions did not materialise and that the people of Bangladesh were not given an opportunity to express fully their democratic choice,” it added.
“The EU urges all parties to refrain from violence and to engage in genuine dialogue to agree on a mutually acceptable way forward to strengthen democratic accountability and to hold transparent, inclusive and credible elections, putting the interests of the people of Bangladesh first,” the statement concluded.
Meanwhile, China and South Korea have expressed hope that political parties in Bangladesh can realize political stability through talks and negotiation after its parliamentary election.
“We noted that Bangladesh’s parliamentary election had been completed on January 5. As a friendly neighbor of Bangladesh, China is concerned about the country’s national situation,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a press briefing on Thursday.
The voting took place on Sunday but was plagued by widespread violence and an opposition boycott over Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s refusal to listen to demands to step down and appoint a neutral caretaker to oversee the election, reports Xinhua from Beijing.
China hopes political forces in Bangladesh can give priority to national long-term and fundamental interests, and hold talks and consultation in efforts to realise political and social stability, as well as economic development.
South Korea has expressed optimism that current political impasse would be overcome through an inclusive political process reflecting the will and aspirations of the Bangladeshi people.
“We are deeply concerned over the violence which has happened surrounding the election held on January 5,” South Korean Ambassador to Dhaka Lee Yun-young said in a statement on Thursday regarding the 10th Parliament Elections of Bangladesh
“As a long-standing friend of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, we hope that through an inclusive political process where the will and aspirations of the Bangladeshi people can be duly reflected, Bangladesh will overcome the current situation and restore the peace and stability as early as possible,” he said.
Earlier, United Nations, Commonwealth, European Union, United States, Japan, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Canada and Australia have called for a dialogue between the parties to ensure inclusive and credible polls.

Courtesy of The Independent

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