EU ambassador to Bangladesh Charles Whiteley on Wednesday said the European Union is very interested in sending polls observers to Bangladesh during the next general election.
He also appreciated the positive attitude by the Bangladesh authorities about welcoming foreign observers.
He was talking to reporters after a meeting with chief election commissioner Kazi Habibul Awal and other EC members at the Nirbachan Bhaban in the capital.
An 11-member EU delegation led by Whiteley had a wide ranging exchange of views with the CEC and his team on Bangladesh’s preparations for the parliamentary elections, including electoral observation. The general election is likely to be held in first week of January next year.
“Everybody wants a participatory, peaceful, and fair election and that is in everybody's interest,” he added.
Kazi Awal said it will be better if foreign observers monitor elections.
About EVM use, he said that the uncertainty about the use of Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) in the upcoming national election is not yet over as the approval of the project is still pending.
The election commission (EC) has decided to use EVMs at 150 constituencies out of 300 in the next general election ignoring the BNP and several other political parties' objection to EVM use. The EC has also decided to procure 200,000 new EVMs at a cost of about Tk 90 billion.
"There are different opinions of the political parties. Dialogue is needed to resolve these differences. Political parties should discuss among themselves and resolve political issues," he said.
He also said that only then the voting will be held through democratic practices.
In this meeting, election commissioners Alamgir and Anisur Rahman were present.
The eleven-member delegation included EU deputy head of mission Bernd Spanier, Danish ambassador Winnie Estrup Petersen, Swedish Ambassador Alexandra Berg Von, German ambassador Achim Tröster, Netherlands ambassador Anne Gerard van Leeuwen, France deputy head of mission Gillaume Audren de Kerdrel, Italy deputy head of mission Mattia Ventura, Spain Charge d' Affaires Ignacio Siles Fernández-Palacios, Switzerland Ambassador Nathalie Chuard and Norway ambassador Espen Rikter-Svendsen.