Information and broadcasting minister Hasan Mahmud has said the sustained boycott of elections poses a serious threat to a democratic society, UNB reports.

“It is not the sole responsibility of a single political party to establish or strengthen democracy. It is the responsibility of all the parties to sustain a democratic system,” Hasan, also Awami League joint general secretary, added.

He was addressing the inaugural ceremony of the e-learning platform “Politics Matters” ( organised by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and Democracy International at a city hotel Wednesday.

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

US ambassador to Bangladesh Peter Haas, BNP standing committee member Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury, and Jatiya Party presidium member barrister Shameem Haider Patwary also attended the event.

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

Dana L Olds, chief of party, SPL, Democracy International, said: “To combat political apathy and attract more youth and women’s participation in politics and elections, the political culture must improve through ensuring political party members are well trained and driven first by their responsibility to citizens and understand and embrace healthy politics.”