12:00 AM, December 11, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:40 AM, December 11, 2018

EU urges govt, EC to ensure credible polls

Ahead of the December 30 polls, the European Union along with Norway, Switzerland called upon the Bangladesh government, the Election Commission and other stake holders to protect and uphold the citizens' right to vote, freedom of expression and right to peaceful assembly.

The call was made in a joint statement signed by the officials of the European Union, United Kingdom, Spain, Sweden, France, Germany, Netherlands, Denmark, Norway and Switzerland yesterday.

The statement urged all the stakeholders to ensure a genuine, credible, inclusive and transparent electoral process in Bangladesh.

The EU and the other countries welcomed the commitments of Bangladesh government and the EC in this respect, it read.

The statement also urged all the political parties of Bangladesh to meet their democratic responsibilities and refrain from violence and called upon the law enforcers to strictly adhere to the rule of law.

Media and civil society scrutiny is particularly important for ensuring transparency throughout the election process, it said.

"Participatory elections constitute an important step in the ongoing process of national development for all Bangladeshi citizens," the statement added.

EU ambassador Rensje Teerink, British High Commissioner Alison Blake, Spanish Ambassador D Alvaro de Salas Gimenez de Azcarate, Swedish Ambassador Charlotta Schlyter, French Ambassador Marie-Annick Bourdin, German Ambassador Peter Fahrenholtz, Dutch Ambassador Harry Verwejj, Danish Ambassador Winnie Estrup Petersen, Norwegian Ambassador Sidsel Bleken and Swiss Ambassador Rene Holenstein were the signatories to the statement.

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