12th parliamentary election: US, UK Canada sent no observers

Flags of the US, the UK and CanadaFile photo

The governments of the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada sent no observers in the 12th parliamentary election held on Sunday although several citizens from these countries came to Bangladesh and acted as polls monitors independently.

Spokespersons from the US and the UK missions in Dhaka confirmed the matter to Prothom Alo while the Canada High Commission disclosed the matter in a post on X, formerly Twitter, handle on Monday.

Several international observers visited various polling stations during the voting on Sunday, followed by a press conference in at a hotel in Dhaka in the evening.

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Former US Congressman Jim Bates, another US observer and chief executive of American Global Strategies Alexander Gray, Canadian Member of Parliament Chandra Arya and Senator Victor Oh attended the briefing.

When asked, a spokesperson from the US embassy informed Prothom Alo through an SMS that the US did not observe the 7 January election. Several US citizens came to Bangladesh to observe the election, and they have acted independently for themselves or for their respective organisations. The US government have no relation to their statement.

A spokesperson from the UK High Commission in Dhaka also informed this correspondent through an SMS that several UK citizens came to Bangladesh independently. The UK sent no mission to Bangladesh to observe the election. Other poll observing missions that came to Bangladesh are independent. The UK government has no relation to them.

The High Commission of Canada in Bangladesh said a post on its official X, formerly Twitter, handle that the two Canadian citizens various media have been speaking about as polls monitors are actually “acting independently”.

“Their views have not been endorsed by the Government of Canada,” the message concluded.