EU to not send polls observer mission to Bangladesh

Prothom Alo English Desk | Update:

A scene of casting vote in general elections in Bangladesh – Representational image by DWDoubts are abound about the ability of the election commission to hold a free and fair general election due later this year or early next year, reports Deutsche Welle.

The German radio has also said skepticism has grown further after doubling of the jail term for imprisoned opposition leader Khaleda Zia.

Against this backdrop, the European Union reiterated that it has decided not to send an election observer team to Bangladesh to monitor the upcoming polls, despite the fragile democratic situation.

“No, we're not sending an observer team. That's because sending a credible observer mission is a very big operation. It requires a big number of observers and months of preparation,” EU ambassador to Bangladesh Rensje Teerink said in an interview with DW.

Asked about other reasons of not sending the mission, she said one of the most important criteria is “the time span available to us to carry out the mission.”

“Then, there are security constraints in certain places,” the ambassador added.

Still, the EU is “confident and hopeful that it will be a genuine, credible, transparent and inclusive election.”

The DW report, however, mentioned that ruling Awami League is looking to ‘cement its power by securing another victory in the upcoming elections’. Referring to critics, the report said the AL “rule [is getting] increasingly authoritarian”.

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