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CEC assures OECD countries’ envoys to hold inclusive, acceptable polls

Dhaka, July 3: Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Habibul Awal on Sunday reiterated the commission’s commitment to hold an “inclusive and acceptable” national election fulfilling the expectation of all. 

Heads of missions representing the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries had a “constructive meeting” with the CEC and discussed the preparations of the next parliamentary polls.

“They (foreign envoys) will be happy, too, if there is an inclusive, acceptable, free and fair election,” he told reporters after the meeting. 

Awal said they will do whatever they need to do to ensure a free and fair election.

The CEC said the envoys know very well that some political parties are still telling them that they will not take part in the election. He, however, hoped that they would be able to reach a consensus removing the distance.

British High Commissioner to Bangladesh Robert Chatterton Dickson who attended the meeting said fair and transparent elections are vital for democracy.

“The UK and likeminded partners will continue to encourage a free and participatory process,” Dickson tweeted after the meeting.

The OECD is a group of countries including the United States, Canada, Turkey, Germany and France which aims to assist economic development, raise living standards and promote growth in world trade.

European Union (EU) Ambassador to Bangladesh Charles Whiteley also attended the meeting. “Wide-ranging exchange today between heads of mission from OECD countries and the Bangladesh Election Commission on preparations for the December 2023 parliamentary polls,” he tweeted.

US Ambassador to Bangladesh Peter Haas and Swiss Ambassador to Bangladesh Nathalie Chuard were present.   

“There was a constructive and open exchange between the Bangladesh Election Commission and OECD countries’ heads of mission. We welcome the commitment made by the Commission to hold free, fair and credible national elections,” ambassador Chuard tweeted.

CEC Awal said such meeting is a tradition before the election and they wanted to know about the rules and regulations of the upcoming parliamentary elections and the preparations. “We have informed them of our activities.”