US wants elections in Bangladesh to take place in free, fair manner: State dept

Vedant Patel, principal deputy spokesperson for the US Department of State
File Photo

The United States wants the upcoming national election in Bangladesh to be held in a free and fair manner.

US Department of State principal deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel made this remarks during a regular briefing on Thursday.

At the briefing, Vedant Patel was asked, with the support of the US, Bangladesh government took a zero-tolerance policy in combating terrorism and radicalism, media reporting the achievement positively contributes to the counterterrorism effort and national interest of the US. “How do you evaluate the achievement of the current government (of Bangladesh) about this matter?”  

In reply, Vedant Patel said, “I will speak about this in broad terms that you’ve heard me say before, that last year we celebrated 50 years of diplomatic relations with Bangladesh, and of course that this is a country that we’re looking to continue to deepen our relationships and partnerships with as there continue to be a number of areas, including trade, cooperation in the climate space, cooperation in the security space, and otherwise where that potential exists.”

The State Department official was then asked whether they support the unelected caretaker government in Bangladesh as the opposition demanding before the general election.

Vedant Patel replied, “I’m pretty sure I answered this question yesterday or the day before that or the day before that.”

The journalist, however, continued, “We are getting answer every time that you – everybody wants in Bangladesh free and fair election. But the question is if you support unelected caretaker government or not, yes or no.”

Vedant Patel said, “As you’ve heard us say, we do not support a particular government or political party or candidate in any country, and that in areas where there are elections ongoing, we – our goal and intent is for these elections to take place in a free and fair way that respects the will of the people of that country.”