Thursday, May 30, 2024

UN for ‘inclusive political process’

Australia, Japan push for ensuring voting right
Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said that the recently-concluded parliamentary election in Bangladesh was characterised by polarisation and low participation and urged the political parties to continue meaningful dialogue to address the expectations of the people for an inclusive process. He also expressed his regret for the failure of the parties to reach a consensus that could have ensured peaceful and all-inclusive polls.
“The Secretary-General is saddened by the loss of life and incidents of violence that marred Sunday’s parliamentary election in Bangladesh,” Martin Nesirky, the spokesperson of Ban Ki-moon, said in a statement in New York on Monday.
“Ban Ki-moon also regrets that the parties did not reach the kind of agreements which could have produced a peaceful, all-inclusive election outcome,” he said.
The UN chief called on all sides to exercise restraint and ensure a peaceful and conducive environment, where people can maintain their right to assembly and expression, said the statement, adding, “Violence and attacks on people and property can never be acceptable”.
“The secretary general calls on the political parties to resume meaningful dialogue and to urgently address the expectations of the people of Bangladesh for an inclusive political process,” the statement said.
The statement concluded that the UN will continue to support the country’s democratic processes in accordance with the principles of inclusiveness, non-violence, reconciliation and dialogue.
Meanwhile, Japan emphasised on serious efforts by the political leadership in Bangladesh to provide the people with a voting opportunity reflecting their aspiration.
“Japan believes that, to preserve and further nurture the achievements of nation-building over the past decades since its independence, the political leadership in Bangladesh, regardless of their positions, should immediately initiate serious efforts to provide Bangladeshi people with a voting opportunity for making political choice in a manner that responds to their aspiration,” Japanese Ambassador to Dhaka Shiro Sadoshima said in a statement yesterday.
“Japan is aware that the people of Bangladesh have strong aspiration for making political choice based on their own free will without fear of violence. Therefore, we are deeply disappointed by the fact that no agreement was achieved among major political parties on political framework prior to the implementation of the 10th parliamentary election,” the statement read.
“Japan is deeply concerned with the political violence which resulted in death and injury of so many people over the last several months in Bangladesh,” it said, adding, “We strongly condemn all sorts of violence and intimidation towards the people of Bangladesh, including attack against peaceful political activities, assault on minority communities, arbitrary arrest and obstruction of electioneering”.
Australia has called for organising fresh elections in Bangladesh as soon as possible that will be fully contested and transparent.
“The government and the opposition must take up their shared responsibility to hold a new, fully contested and transparent election as soon as possible,” said a media release issued by Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.
Expressing deep concern at the ongoing violence and political discord which marred the election in Bangladesh held on Sunday, she said, “It has been reported that both the Awami League government and the opposition coalition led by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party contributed to the unstable political conditions.”
“While the elections were constitutionally valid, less than half the parliamentary seats were contested and voter turnout was low,” said the Minister.
“The Australian Government condemns the attacks against minorities, and calls on all sides to end the political violence,” she said, adding, “It is vital that the people of Bangladesh are able to express their democratic will and exercise real choice.”
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Travel Advice for Bangladesh has been raised to ‘reconsider your need to travel’ given the prospect of further violence, the Minister said.

Courtesy of The Independent

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