UK encourages free, fair, participatory and peaceful polls in Bangladesh: Envoy

British high commissioner Sarah Cooke hold a meeting with chief election commissioner Kazi Habibul Awal on 27 August

British High Commissioner to Bangladesh Sarah Cooke on Sunday said her country is encouraging free, fair, participatory and peaceful elections in Bangladesh, reports UNB.

She said fair elections will help Bangladeshi citizens exercise their democratic rights.

"We had a very constructive introductory discussion," high commissioner Cooke told reporters after her first meeting with chief election commissioner Kazi Habibul Awal and his team.

She said they discussed the vital roles of strong democratic institutions, media, and civil society.

The British high commissioner said they also discussed the role of independent observers during the election.

Talking to reporters, the CEC said high commissioner Cooke wanted to know the EC's efforts for ensuring that journalists can work freely.

He said the media raised the demand regarding the use of motorcycles.
The CEC said they were considering whether it would be misused or not.
Some - using muscle power- might create problems, taking advantage of motorcycle use.

"Keeping that in mind, we made a provision," said the CEC.

At the meeting, election commissioner Anisur Rahman and EC secretary Md Jahangir Alam were also present.

The EC is taking preparations to hold the next national election in December this year or January next year.