Continued Concerns on Bangladesh Elections
The United States believes Bangladesh has an opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to democracy by organizing free and fair elections that are credible in the eyes of the Bangladeshi people.
The United States notes with disappointment, however, that the major political parties have not yet reached consensus on a way to achieve such elections, since more than half of the parliamentary seats are uncontested for the January 5 polls. In this context, the United States will not deploy observers for these elections. We remain prepared to reengage our observation efforts at a later time in a more conducive environment.
The United States urges the major parties to continue their dialogue and redouble their efforts to find a solution worthy of the people of Bangladesh.
The people of Bangladesh deserve the opportunity to elect their national representatives in a climate free of violence and intimidation. The nation’s political leadership – and those who aspire to lead – must ensure law and order and refrain from supporting violence, inflammatory rhetoric, and intimidation. The United States encourages all political parties and Bangladeshi citizens to participate peacefully in the political process. Violence is not acceptable because it subverts the democratic process.
The United States believes all parties and Bangladeshi citizens have the right to freely and peacefully express their views. The government is responsible to provide space for such activity; equally, the opposition is responsible to use such space in a peaceful manner.