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US doesn’t favour any political party in Bangladesh: Haas

  • DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT
  • 11 August, 2022 12:00 AM
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US doesn’t favour any political party in Bangladesh: Haas

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US Ambassador to Bangladesh Peter Haas has once again made it clear that the United States does not favour any political party in Bangladesh over any other.

He said the United States is proud of their close partnership with Bangladesh over the past 50 years and will continue to be a strong supporter of this country’s efforts to improve the quality of life for all its citizens. 

“And a fundamental way to improve the quality of life for citizens is to give them the opportunity to participate in free, fair and transparent elections held in accordance with international standards,” Peter Haas said adding “what better way is there to allow the people to share their voices on what matters to them than through their ability to freely cast their ballot?” 

The US envoy came up with the remarks while addressing the launching of an e-learning platform called ‘Politics Matters’ – www.politicsmatters.com.bd – at an event at a city hotel on Wednesday.

USAID's 'Strengthening Political Landscape' project, implemented by Democracy International, launched the platform to bring political knowledge and skills to the fingerprints of Bangladeshi political leaders and enthusiasts across the country.

Information and Broadcasting Minister and Awami League Central Joint Secretary Dr Hasan Mahmud, BNP Standing Committee Member Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury, Jatiya Party Presidium Member Barrister Shameem Haider Patwary and Democracy International Chief of Party Dana L. Olds also spoke at the event.

Peter Haas said he knows from the United States’ experience that holding of a free and fair election is a ‘complicated task’ that requires every part of society. 

“From the election commission to the government, from the media to law enforcement agencies, from civil society to political parties, everyone has an important role to play,” he said adding “if any one of them fails to fulfill their responsibility – or if any one of them prevents another from fulfilling their responsibility, free and fair elections become nearly impossible.” 

About launching of the Politics Matters e-learning platform, the US envoy said this free Bengali-language platform offers international-standard training modules on political party practices, leadership development, conflict resolution, and democracy strengthening to the smartphones and computers of political party activists and leaders.   

He is particularly excited about the potential of the Politics Matters platform to train the next generation of Bangladesh’s political leaders. 

Speaking on the occasion, Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud said all parties have responsibility for a fair election. “For fair elections, there is a need to avoid boycotting elections, negative politics and use of violence,” he added.

The Awami League leader hopes that the next national election will be free and fair with the participation of all political parties.

BNP leader Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury said grooming and development of political parties is crucial for better politics.

“It is not only those who have money, political family background or muscle power, who should join politics. Common people need to be trained and be engaged in politics for proper public representation,” he said.